April 2023


Volume 4, April 2023

AHOY Greetings

Greetings to the supporters and volunteers who keep SML Clean and Safe. This month’s issue of AHOY focuses on our signature event, A Day at the Lake, and other Clean Water and Safe Lake updates.

June 10th at Crazy Horse Marina

Don’t miss your opportunity to find out what SMLA’s Lake Quality and Water Safety Councils are doing to keep SML clean and safe. A Day at the Lake will be fun and interactive on land and in water. You’ll also engage with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), Bedford and Franklin County Sheriff Departments, SML Fire & Rescue, SML Sail and Power Squadron (ABC-SML), Sea-Tow, and more. Stay up-to-date on all the day’s activities by visiting SMLAssociation.org.

Clean Water – What Could Be More Important?

Have you had the opportunity to check out our website lately? A month ago we added our water quality indicator gauges on our home page. Learn how to interpret the gauges and why water clarity, chlorophyll-a, and phosphorus are monitored by 55 volunteers at 84 sites on the lake. You’ll also find the Ferrum College 2022 Water Quality Monitoring report and a replay of our webinar, plus information about our Buffer Garden Landscaping, Lake Clean-Up, Save Our Streams, and Vessel Pump-Out programs.

Need Advice to Control Erosion or Plant a Buffer Garden?

With spring in the air and growing season beginning, now is a good time to schedule a Buffer Landscape Advisory Support Team (BLAST) visit. Our teams of Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists are available FREE of charge to provide sound, technical and proven advice and guidance to homeowners interested in reducing runoff of sediments, fertilizer and other pollutants into the lake, all of which negatively affect our pristine water quality. Our BLAST Teams are available, and usually arrive within 2 weeks after your request for a visit is received. To schedule a visit, email TheOffice@SMLAssociation.org or call 540-719-0690.

Save Our Streams (SOS) Supports Creek Week

The SOS team of volunteers will once again partner with Western Virginia Water Authority (WVWA) to support Benjamin Franklin Middle School and 6th grade Science teacher, Callie Angle, during “Creek Week” on April 25th & 27th and May 3rd & 4th. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about environmental education, the ecology of their watershed, how to measure water quality using both chemical and biological methodology, and how to help maintain water quality in their home area.

Water Safety Council (WSC) Update

The mission of our WSC is to promote safe boating, water sports, and lake-front living on and around SML through education, training, and coordination of programming.

  • SML Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue, in coordination with Bayside Marina, raised a 31’ express cruiser which sunk in its slip in December 2022. The dive team rigged lift bags and brought the vessel to the surface and the fireboats dewatered and towed the vessel to the ramp. Bayside Marina put the vessel on a trailer and is arranging its disposal.
  • SML Fire and Rescue reported a number of kayakers were observed not wearing lifejackets. Unexpected accidents in cold water can lead to life threatening situations. Please wear your lifejacket. They save your lives!
  • Several boating education courses are scheduled over the next few months. Classes are virtual and in-person. Please share this information with folks you know who need to take the course to obtain credentials. For more information on Boater Education, please contact Trevor Ruble at trevor.ruble@dwr.virginia.org or 540-819-0266.

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake (TPISML)

May is dedicated to Take Pride in SML, our annual lake clean-up initiative. This summer, on May 6th, 13th and 20th, dumpsters will be available at the following marinas:

  • Crazy Horse: May 6
  • Hardy Ramp/Bay Rock Marina: TBD
  • Gills Creek Marina: May 13
  • Waterwheel/Halesford Bridge: May 13
  • Magnum Point Marina: May 6

You can also organize your own neighborhood SML clean-up event with family, friends and neighbors. This year’s goal is to involve the entire community with removing debris from the shoreline and lake. Supplies, trash bags, and gloves will be available for pick-up at the SMLA office. For more information, visit the TPISML website.

Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Expo

SMLA will be at the SMLRCC Annual Business Expo at Eastlake Community Church on May 5th from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Please stop by, catch up with us and hear how we’re working to keep SML clean and safe.

Best Wishes Teresa!

Many of you know Teresa Picking, the face of SMLA when you arrive at our office. Teresa has been our office administrator for the past 5+ years and recently decided to retire. Please join the SMLA Board of Directors in wishing Teresa all the best and thanking her for being a Steward of the Lake.

As a result of Teresa’s departure, we are looking for a part-time Office Administrator responsible for the day-to-day management of the SMLA office. Responsibilities include:
Managing membership database
Processing membership payments, donations, and invoices
Handling general correspondence, email, and phone calls
Maintaining office supply inventories
Greeting and interacting with office visitors
Overseeing office volunteers
If you enjoy working independently, with minimal supervision, this may be a great opportunity for you. To apply or learn more, please email our office, TheOffice@SMLAssociation.org

Volunteers Needed

We need help to help keep SML clean and safe, and are currently recruiting for:

  • Education Committee Chairperson
  • Grant Management Coordinator
  • Membership Committee
  • Volunteer Coordinator

To become a volunteer, please contact the TheOffice@SMLAssociation.org or call 540-719-0690.

As always, your feedback is appreciated and welcome. Please contact me at TheOffice@SMLAssociation.org.

Bill Butterfield, President