We know SML: For the past 34 years SMLA has monitored key factors that determine the health of the Lake. In partnership with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Appalachian Power Company, Western Virginia Water Authority, Bedford Regional Water Authority, and Ferrum College, SMLA and its volunteers, SMLA executes one of the most successful water monitoring programs in the nation. The results of this program, and others, have provided the data that allows SMLA and the Tri County Lakes Administrative Commission, which represents Franklin, Bedford, and Pittsylvania Counties, to make informed, science-based decisions regarding lake regulations, restrictions and best practices – all designed to ensure that you enjoy Smith Mountain Lake and all that it provides.
We Identify Vulnerabilities and Respond to Threats: Staying ahead of vulnerabilities and anticipated threats ensures our Lake remains clear and safe.
Over the years, Smith Mountain Lake has been exposed to a variety of environmental pressures that had negatively impacted the Lake. Here are a few:
On the horizon: Changes in our nation’s and State’s policies, technologies, growth and demographics, coupled with weather patters and other “unknowns”, require SMLA to identify them, understand their impact, and respond accordingly.
We Protect SML and Preserve its Quality: We are the Stewards of the Lake! Over the years SMLA has taken multiple, effective steps to: a) align and partner with organizations to work together to make a difference, b) initiate focused programs that all lead to enhanced environmental conditions, and c) energize the community to volunteer their time and resources – all for a better Lake.
Caring for our lake “takes a village”. Many of our all-volunteer efforts are in cooperation with numerous regulatory agencies, partnering organizations, and local governments.
Use and Enjoy SML: In addition to the beauty and serenity that is inherently a part of Lake life, Smith Mountain Lake offers all residents and visitors alike a perfect place to enjoy boating, swimming, and a wide variety of water sports. As the Lake has grown in popularity over the past 50 years, so has the increase in users, as well as the multiplicity of uses. From a simple sailing, boating and fishing Lake, SML over the years has attracted seaplanes, powersailing, kayaking, jet skiing, water skiing, performance boats, scuba diving, fishing tournaments, wake boarding, paddleboarding, tubing, wake surfing, and drone flying. Each of these activities competes for water or space on the Lake and each must be done safely and with respect for other users. SMLA’s Water Safety Council provides a “grass-roots” approach to boating and recreational safety. The Council is comprised of all local residents who recommend and implement safe operating practices.
Part of safe boating is safe navigation. Boaters can enjoy the Lake 24 hours a day thanks to the maps and charts that SMLA provides to boaters. These maps and charts contain up to date information regarding community locations, navigational aides and course water depth. Maps/charts may be acquired from the SMLA Office, ordered via our website, or purchased at most marinas, various realtors and the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center.
SMLA Programs – Working for and with You: SMLA Programs come and go with the requirements, Strategic Plan, and available funding. The following are the current active Programs:
Click to learn more about how you can help Smith Mountain Lake and its community.