In an effort to enhance water quality, habitat and biological monitoring between State, local and federal agencies within the Deep Creek Lake (DCL) watershed, the agencies held a meeting on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center. Representatives from Maryland Department of Natural Resources Lake Management Office, Fisheries Service, Resource Assessment Service, Garrett County Department of Health and the Department of Planning, and US Geological Survey attended the meeting.
The meeting provided the agencies with an opportunity to present and discuss DCL and watershed monitoring information collected over the years and identify potential areas of concern and where monitoring efforts can be enhanced, integrated or refocused to better meet the needs of the Lake and watershed.
This effort helps to meet the intent of the Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan and fulfills a statement in the Executive Summary that states “Through partnerships with private land owners and government agencies, the Deep Creek watershed will improve its environmental stability and economic viability while retaining its rural landscapes and natural beauty so that, for generation to come, local citizens and visitors have a special place to live, work, and play.” The government agency water quality monitoring staff are collaborating to identify a few critical areas that will need the attention of all involved, including property owners, stakeholders and potential funding partners.
The meeting participants agreed that the focal point of future monitoring should include efforts to monitor the tributaries and conditions in the watershed. The group will meet again in late January 2022 and hope to invite representatives from the Soil Conservation District and academia to bring additional ideas to the table and to agree on a few specific target areas for enhanced monitoring and collaboration. Once a consensus is reached by the group, it is anticipated that a larger meeting that will include various DCL stakeholders will be held.