May 2022

May 2022

Welcome to the May edition of SMLA AHOY!  April has come and gone with a lot of cold and windy weather.  The BOD has been busy in April.  Following are a few highlights of what’s been happening.  Please let me know how we are doing and any ideas you have as a member of the SMLA.

If you recall, one of our key opportunities in 2022 is to increase SMLA membership. Membership and charitable donations support the good work of SMLA so this is an important initiative. Our first tactic supporting this was to send a SMLA mailing to all new homeowners at SML. Great news! We started receiving immediate new memberships to SMLA.

Our newest membership initiatives include the following:

  • We are working hard to increase our business partner program.  We feel strongly that a healthy and safe lake, see the SMLA mission statement above, will continue to promote tourism, provide a wonderful location for home ownership, and insures our business partners will have access to generations of lake home owners and visitors.
  • The Smith Mountain Lake Business Expo is a go for this coming Friday, May 6th at Eastlake Community Church in Moneta.  Over 100 area businesses are expected to be in attendance with over $3,500 in door prizes to given away in 15 minute intervals.  Job openings will also be highlighted as the Expo will serve as a mini-job fair for the community.  Our SMLA will have two adjoining booths, the SMLA and the WSC (Water Safety Council).  Please drop by to say hello.

SMLA has signed this year’s agreement with TLAC for the vessel pump out program (VPOP).  Last year’s crew chief will join us again this year and TLAC is actively recruiting crew members.  If you know of someone 18 years and older looking for weekend work between May and September, please let TLAC know.

The pilot buffer garden, a collaboration between Mariners Landing, SMLA and AEP, is moving forward.  This is a huge effort to include an engineering study, shoreline restoration and vegetation removal permits, rip rap contracting, landscape design and native plant selection.

April 1st saw the beginning of a new season of monitoring for our Save Our Streams (SOS) group at SMLA.  The last week of April, SOS members partnered with Western Virginia Water Authority personnel to present a workshop for Franklin County middle school students as part of Benjamin Franklin Middle School’s annual Creek Week.  Volunteers from SOS and BRFAL Virginia Master Naturalist chapter participated in Franklin County High School’s annual Earth Day exhibits on the FCHS campus.

Subsurface Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) committee reported that the 2021 SAV report, prepared by Klineschmidt (contracted by AEP), surveyed 333 locations on the lake and found no SAV, native on non-native, present.  Our SAV committee responded to Klineschmidt/AEP as requested.

The 2021 annual debris report from AEP was filed the end of March with FERC.  Due to a “high water event” at the end of March, debris collection has already started on SML with 32 tons of debris removed on both the Roanoke (R14-32) and Blackwater (B16) rivers.

As a reminder, our Water Safety Council, WSC, The SMLA WSC groups free boat safety checks will occur on 21-22 May at Bridgewater Plaza and Crazy horse marina docks.  This is a great opportunity for us to check on our boat safety readiness.

By the time you receive this Ahoy update we will have begun the annual Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake (TPISML) clean-up during the month of May.  I hope you were able to register in April for this important community effort, if not, either find a group that has been organized or take part by cleaning up your area on the lake.

Thank you for your continued support of the SMLA.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Bill Butterfield