ATLANTA (January 8, 2013) – Sen. Mike Crane (R-Newnan) has been encouraged by the outpouring of support from constituents opposing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) decision to reduce West Point Lake’s “full pool” operating period by 40 percent. Sen. Crane recently sent a letter to the USACE detailing Senate District 28’s concerns for the negative economic and environmental impacts if the proposed change is implemented.
“Our office is seeking answers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the proposed rule change limiting the full pool operating time frame for West Point Lake,” said Sen. Crane. “This proposed rule change marks a distinct move in the wrong direction. I strongly believe there is a much better operating curve for West Point Lake, and we have the data to support it. This curve represents higher water levels for longer periods of time, while maintaining the flood control potential of the lake. I will continue to press for a satisfactory answer from the Corps, and I encourage others to join the petition pushing for optimum stewardship of West Point Lake.”
The U.S. Congress authorized West Point Lake as the first USACE project that allowed for recreational purposes like sport fishing and wildlife development. The USACE’s proposed change at West Point Lake will shorten the full recreational water level of 635 feet from June 1 – Sept. 1 instead of the previous time period from June 1 – Nov. 1.
Currently, West Point Lake brings more than 2.2 million visitors to the district each year for recreational purposes, which accounts for $112 million in local economic support. However, low water levels at West Point Lake over the past few years have harmed annual bass spawn, among other fish populations, and hurt the lake’s sport fishing destination reputation. In this way, the USACE can be seen as defaulting on their responsibilities to uphold the Lake’s recreational commitments.
If you would like to join more than 1,800 concerned citizens in expressing their opposition to the USACE proposed rule change, please sign this online petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/us-army-corps-of-engineers-change-operating-rule-curve-for-west-point-lake.
For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2013
For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Deputy Director
Kate Greer, Broadcast Specialist