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As many of you know since 2015 Maryland Department of Natural Resources in partnership with the Garrett College Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology Program (NRWT) has hired GC students to work as launch stewards at Deep Creek Lake State Park. The students inspect each incoming vessel and trailer for the presence of non-native invasive aquatic plants and animals that may negatively impact the lake.
Kevin Dodge, Director of NRWT has reported that on Friday July 3 an inspection by the stewards of a boat last launched ob Cheat Lake turned up hydrilla, an agressively invasive species of aqquatic vegitation (which DNR treats the lake for every year) and on the same day that a boat which had last launched in the Ohio River showed up at the launch ramp covered with zebra mussels which have had a devistating consequences when introduced in numerous bodies of water.
When the launch stewards (all Garrett College students) informed the owners of the presence of these invasive "hitchhikers", both owners took their boats to be safely washed before launching in DCL.
Your POA has supported the launch steward program since its inception and these instances are examples of its importance and successful operations. At the request of DNR the POA purchased and installed "clean your boat" signs on 5 access roads to the lake. The POA expresses its thanks to the Stewards for their efforts. As property owners, we should all take responsibility for ensuring that we, our guests and those renting our properties all practice "safe boating" not only on the water but in protecting Deep Creek Lake from invasive species contamination when launching boats the use of which is not exclusive to DCL into our waters.
A brochure on protecting against invasive species on boats can be accessed by clicking HERE
Property Owners' Association of Deep Creek Lake, PO Box 618, McHenry MD 21541
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