SMLA announces Water Quality Alliance to protect Smith Mountain Lake

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA) announced the formation of the Water Quality Alliance to protect the blackwater.

The alliance, which is a partnership between SMLA, Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce (SMLRCC), Tri-County Lakes Administration (TLAC), and Ferrum College, will work together to protect SML and prevent Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) which presented issues for the lake during 2023.

“Last year’s Harmful Algal Blooms, and the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) subsequent Swimming Advisory on the entire arm of the Blackwater, negatively affected tourism and business,” said Andy Bruns, SMLRCC Executive Director. “This group will work to address the water quality concerns of all stakeholders.”

SMLA’s ‘Dock Watch Program’ set to protect the Blackwater from algal blooms

The alliance also includes residents, businesses, professionals, and county and state agencies. The goal of the working group is to provide education and advise residents and visitors about:

  • The history of HABs on Smith Mountain Lake

  • Steps being taken to better understand and characterize the lake’s watershed

  • Prospects for future HABs

  • Best practices for keeping SML clean and safe

“It’s rewarding for everyone when our community, businesses, and local governments combine resources and work together,” said Lorie Smith, TLAC Board Chair. “SML is considered the Jewel of the Blue Ridge, and we must preserve it for generations to enjoy.”

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