Events & Lake Info
Neely Henry Lake Association Meeting
Thursday, September 7th 2017
A meeting of the Neely Henry Lake Association will be held at 6:30PM Thursday, September 7th 2017 at the Rainbow City Community Center, 3702 Rainbow Drive. The guest speaker will be Brett Vick. Mr. Vick has a great deal of expertise involving the various types of building materials used for boat docks, piers, boat houses, decks etc. and will discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages of these materials at the meeting. The discussion will involve the latest and best approved wood treatment and preservation methods as well as alternatives to wood that could be a better option. The goal of this meeting is to offer information that will assist anyone building structures (or planning to build structures) on or near the water to select the most appropriate and cost effective building material (e.g. the right type of approved treated wood or alternative material) for their particular project. This promises to be an extremely informative/beneficial meeting for anyone planning work of this type now or in the future. We look forward to your attendance.
In addition to our main program, information will be provided in the following areas:
- Programs/projects and upcoming events coordinated and/or sponsored by the NHLA.
- The water quality of Neely Henry Lake.
- Water and boating safety.
- The status of the water wars dispute between Alabama, Georgia and Florida. (There will be a summary of recent major developments in this dispute).
The public is invited to attend this meeting.
The Coosa Lakes Association Coalition
On a quarterly basis representatives from the Neely Henry Lake Association meet with representatives of other Coosa River Lake Associations (Weiss, Logan Martin, Lay, Mitchell and Jordan). At recent meetings we have discussed the importance of the members of the various lake associations coordinating their efforts on issues that impact all lakes on the Coosa River system. These various lake associations have thousands of members and by joining together on important issues (common to all of us) we are hopeful we can help protect the Coosa River. For example, all lake associations are concerned about water quality and quantity, economic and recreational issues etc. Also, all lake associations are concerned about the water dispute with Georgia and about how Alabama is the only state involved in the water dispute without a Comprehensive Water Management Plan. Hopefully, due to the number of organizations and people involved, we can help protect this extremely valuable resource.
A Quick Update of the Water Wars and Associated Issues:
1) Florida’s lawsuit against Georgia regarding reduced fresh water flow to the Apalachicola River and the resulting devastation of their oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay (verified by a fisheries disaster declaration by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - NOAA) will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Florida says that Georgia (primarily the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area) is taking too much water from the Chattahoochee River (the main tributary to the Apalachicola River) and wants metro-Atlanta to reduce the amount of water taken from the Chattahoochee. The Supreme Court has appointed a “Special Master” (Ralph Lancaster) who is an expert in these types of cases and is the only person designated four times by the U.S. Supreme Court as a “Special Master”. It has been reported Mr. Lancaster is moving expeditiously to provide a recommendation to the Supreme Court. (In a case involving a 200 year dispute between Maryland and Virginia over water rights involving the Potomac River, Mr. Lancaster provided his recommendations to the Supreme Court three years after being appointed “Special Master”). As in previous cases, the Supreme Court agreed with Mr. Lancaster’s recommendations.
2) Four Days after being notified that the Supreme Court would “hear” Florida’s Case, Georgia filed a lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers regarding their need to increase water storage in Lake Allatoona (on the Etowah River) and their request for more water from this reservoir. (Increased use of water from Lake Allatoona and storing more water at Allatoona Lake would reduce water flow to the Coosa River).
3) On May 4th 2015 the Corps of Engineers issued a “Record of Decision” on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) involving the Alabama, Coosa, Tallapoosa (ACT) basin. This “Record of Decision” resulted in the approval of a revised Water Control Manual governing the (ACT) Basin. One provision of this revised manual calls for water to be “held back” for recreational purposes at Allatoona Dam from October 1st through mid-November when water would normally be released. Officials from the State of Alabama objected to this provision because holding water back at this time would lower the flow of water to the Coosa River when the flow is already normally reduced due to low rainfall.
4) On May 7th 2015 the State of Alabama filed a lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers regarding the approval of the revised Water Control Manual’s provision involving holding water back at Lake Allatoona for recreational purposes. Alabama’s lawsuit challenges the Water Control Manual on three issues:
- Claims the manual allows diminishment of Alabama’s water quality.
- Advocates unlawful retention of water for Georgia’s recreation.
- Fails to accurately disclose the substantial potential of the Corps of Engineers actions on Alabama’s environment.
A summary of the potential impact of these recent events are as follows:
- If Florida succeeds in their lawsuit against Georgia (resulting in a reduction in the amount of water Georgia can obtain from the Chattahoochee River) metro- Atlanta will need to get water from another source due to the amount they will lose from the Chattahoochee. A likely source would be the Etowah River where an infrastructure already exists (piping, pumps etc.) to send more water to metro- Atlanta.
- The Corps of Engineer’s recently approved ACT Water Control Manual has a provision requiring Allatoona Dam to stabilize the level of reservoir for recreational purposes (decreasing the flow of water to the Etowah and Coosa River) during a time of the year when flow is normally reduced due to decreased rainfall. This will lead to additional flow decrease to the Etowah and Coosa River during this time period.
- There are lawsuits that could alter a series of events that adversely impact water flow to the Coosa River. However, since Alabama does not yet have a Comprehensive Water Management Plan and the other states involved in these lawsuits have these plans in place, Alabama is not in a good position when decisions are made regarding these lawsuits. A fully implemented Water Management Plan indicates to the judges involved in the case that a state is conscientious and “doing a good job” taking care of its water resources. (Alabama has an “outline” in place to use in the development of a plan but we are apparently years away from having a fully developed plan).
- SAFETY MARKERS
The NHLA is excited to announce that after many years of effort, safety markers have been scheduled for installation on our lake!!As part of an agreement with the Alabama Marine Patrol, Alabama Power agreed to restore all markers authorized to APCO at Neely Henry reservoir. APCO also agreed to install 28 new markers as directed by the Marine Patrol. Upon restoring the markers, the Marine Patrol will assume sole responsibility for the markers.
As many of you have noticed, ospreys have become more common on NH Lake in recent years. To that end, APCO is taking advantage of this opportunity to install platforms on four of the newly installed markers to provide additional nesting habitat for ospreys! The platforms will promote bird conservation by providing a more stable area for nesting. APCO is coordinating with the Marine Patrol and the Wildlife Section of ADCNR. Check out these links for some neat videos:
Thanks to all within NHLA that have tirelessly worked to make this a reality!! And thanks also to APCO and the Marine Patrol for implementation.