The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the St. Tammany Parish, La., government received a...
The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has implemented a new Water-Related Development Policy which states that the Corps will closely oversee and monitor water-related development actions contributing to lake surface congestion.
Facilities directly affecting lake surface use are marina slips, boat ramps and boat ramp parking areas. The policy establishes a standard of an average of 22 acres of water per boat during any peak use time, usually occurring on summer season weekends. The policy applies not only to future development to be done by the Corps, but also any new water-related development proposed by concessionaires and other lessees.
"This policy addresses our concerns with resource protection, water safety and user enjoyment at our lakes," said Colonel Gordon Wells, District Commander. "Implementation of this policy reflects on our responsibility to manage and conserve natural resources, while providing quality public outdoor recreation experiences that serve the needs of present and future generations."
The District's policy is based on the results of a Water-Related Recreation Use Study recently completed at Lewisville Lake. The study looked at current lake surface use levels at the lake. In general, the study concluded that a high number or acres of water per boat tends to maximize resource protection and user enjoyment, while a low number tends to threaten the resource and reduce visitor satisfaction.
"The impact of this policy will vary from lake to lake," said Colonel Wells. "The biggest impact will occur at lakes which currently experience a high density of boating use."
The Fort Worth District operates and maintains 25 lakes in Texas that draw an estimated 25 million visitors each year.
A copy of the Fort Worth District's Water-Related Development Policy is posted on the District's homepage at http://www.swf.usace.army.mil