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July 2, 2013

Governor O’Malley Proclaims July Lakes Appreciation Month

by Martha
Greenbrier State Park Lake

“Hiking at Greenbrier State Park” by Paula Mansfield

Governor Martin O’Malley has proclaimed July Lakes Appreciation Month to encourage Marylanders to visit and enjoy their favorite lake, pond or reservoir, and discover ways to help protect and enhance these vital resources.

“In celebration of Lakes Appreciation Month I encourage all Marylanders to take a week, a day, or even an hour to visit a lake or pond and enjoy some of the exciting and diverse recreation it offers,” said Governor O’Malley. “We should appreciate and take pride in and these areas, as healthy lakes not only provide a day of fun with friends and family, they enhance our natural world, strengthen our economy by providing jobs and tourism dollars, and contribute to an overall quality of life in Maryland enjoyed by citizens and visitors alike.”

Maryland boasts 60 significant (greater than 5 acres in size) lakes, all of which are manmade and open to the public. These lakes provide a number of recreational activities, ranging from fishing and swimming to boating and water sports. For example, Maryland’s largest, Deep Creek Lake, is home to 18 species of fish as well as numerous camp sites and boat rental opportunities. And recent tests show the lake’s water clarity —one of the best indicators of water quality—is very similar to how it was in 1953. Another large lake, Liberty Reservoir, contains striped bass that have reached the 40-pound range. For a list of public lakes and ponds in Maryland, click here.

Aside from the great year-round recreational and aesthetic pleasures, lakes provide the State with drinking water, irrigation, help produce energy and food, and serve as a habitat and food source to animals and plants. Just like the Chesapeake and coastal bays, major rivers and the Atlantic Ocean, lakes can suffer from poor water quality due to sedimentation, phosphorus and toxic contaminants in sediments or fish. Fortunately, all citizens can play a role in keeping Maryland’s lakes healthy through simple actions, like leaving no trace when visiting a lake, organizing a watershed cleanup effort, planting native trees and vegetation to prevent runoff, and other green landscaping practices located here.

This nationwide initiative is sponsored by the North American Lake Management Society, a non-profit organization focused partnerships between citizens, scientists, and professionals in order to protect the quality of lakes and reservoirs for the benefit of all who use them.

View a copy of the Governor’s Lakes Appreciation Month Proclamation.

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