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Groups of citizens get new tool to protect lakes

July 20, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

People like the idea of preserving and improving the water quality of area lakes. But for one group to take on the challenge of protecting all lakes is obviously overwhelming. So, conservation experts hope they have come up with a winning plan.

Martin Soil and Water Conservation District has won grant funding to assist several individual lake associations in their efforts. Training will be offered to study lake management plans, offer assistance in communications and outreach, and to form connections among lake enthusiasts, water resource professionals, and city and county government.

Lake associations can use what they learn to tackle invasive species of plants or aquatic life, work to update septic systems around lakes, or try to do something about agricultural runoff issues.

What we like best about this effort is that it comes together as a bottom-up approach involving the citizens who actually live by and enjoy the lakes. They are the ones with something to lose if their lakes become tainted.

As these efforts go forward, we also support extending this approach to finding ways to let citizens actually own bodies of water, whether as individuals or groups. This added step would allow the owners to protect their property through the legal system. That is, if someone harmed their property, they could seek damages.

 
 

 

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