March 2023

March 2023

Volume 2, March 2023
AHOY Greetings
January and February have flown by with no snow and unseasonably warm weather. Fishing boat activity continues to pick up and soon pleasure boating will follow. We have a lot of news to share with you so let’s get started.

A Day at the Lake

Kick-off the summer season with SMLA on Saturday, June 10th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at Crazy Horse Marina. A Day at the Lake is a community event that is all about a clean and safe SML. The day includes free interactive, educational and fun activities for children and adults. And of course, food. Bathing suits are not required, but encouraged! Stay tuned for more details,

Save our Streams (SOS)

We are excited to announce that SMLA has developed a new annual award to recognize land owners and land managers whose actions have improved water quality in a stream monitored regularly by our SOS staff. The award will be presented in early fall at our annual Membership meeting.

Our SOS program held a spring workshop for new volunteers. Four trainees from the SML watershed and six guest trainees from Grayson County (who have no certified trainers in their home area) participated in an all-day classroom session and stream orientation at the Jack O’Lantern Creek. Thank you to our five volunteer instructors and all the trainees (pictured above).

SOS will again partner with Western Virginia Water Authority (WVWA) to support sixth grade science teacher, Callie Angle, at Benjamin Franklin Middle School during Creek Week on April 24th and 25th. SOS will provide six certified members to cover Creek Week activities focusing on biological testing and macroinvertebrate testing in the stream while WVWA focuses on water quality. This fantastic program introduces students to stream and water quality.

SMLA Website Updated with Water Quality Monitoring Gauges

Work to redesign our website continues with the addition of water quality monitoring gauges. There are three benchmarks against which we compare the results of our water quality monitoring program. The benchmarks provide us with some context to which we can compare the current measurements of Secchi Depth, Chlorophyll-a concentration, and Phosphorous concentration. For a complete view of the gauges including the data they represent, visit our homepage.

Demonstration Buffer Garden

SMLA, Mariner’s Landing and Appalachian Power Company (APCO) have joined hands to create a demonstration Buffer Garden on the 5th hole at Mariner’s golf course. Shown here is the condition of the 5th hole and, in contrast, an existing buffer garden design that better protects the lake. For more information about this initiative click here.

Water Safety Council (WSC)
Minutes from the recent WSC meeting reported
The Power Squadron continues to give Boat America courses and on deck education for boat owners on their boats.
The new home for The Marine Fire and Rescue Department is nearly completed.
Laker Weekly has been discontinued and the WSC wishes to thank Jason Dunovant for all his work in helping us keep SML safe.
For a list of Virginia Boating Safety Education Classroom Courses at SML, visit the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources website.

Water Quality Monitoring Program (WQMP)
SMLA and Ferrum College have monitored the water quality of SML for 35+ years. Each summer, SMLA volunteers join Ferrum College faculty and students to monitor the lake water for nutrients, bacteria, and algal blooms. Stakeholders and local health departments use collected data to inform the community of any concerns.

Join the experts on March 15th at 4:00 pm for a free webinar to learn about the results of last year’s water monitoring program and plans for the 2023 season. Register for the webinar by clicking here.

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake (TPISML)
Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, SML’s annual cleanup initiative, will return to a hybrid model in 2023 with structured events planned on May 6, May 13 and May 20 at various marinas around the lake. In addition, neighborhood groups, businesses, families, civic organizations and others may participate in any of the organized events or plan their own Take Pride cleanup for any date in May. For more information, visit the TPISML website.

Earth Day at Bethlehem Church, April 22, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
SMLA has registered to attend Earth Day at Bethlehem Church and will have a booth featuring our SOS and Buffer Garden groups. This event is sponsored by Bethlehem Church, Trinity Ecumenical Parish and Resurrection Catholic Church. The event is intended to increase community awareness of environmental issues, showcase eco-friendly products, provide hands-on learning opportunities, and discuss general caring for the earth.

Volunteers Needed
National publications have recognized SML as a great place to live, vacation and invest. Everyone is talking about the lake’s pristine beauty and safe recreation. Volunteers are needed to help keep SML clean and safe. SMLA is currently recruiting for:
Education Committee Chairperson
Grant Management Coordinator
Membership Committee
Volunteer Coordinator
To become a volunteer, please contact the or call 540-719-0690. To learn about all our volunteer opportunities, please click here.