TAVARES — At its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance that is expected to add another layer of protection to the County's most well-known asset, its lakes.
The Adopt-a-Lake ordinance creates a new volunteer initiative that encourages the community to become involved with protecting, preserving and restoring Lake County's hundred of lakes. The Adopt–a–Lake Program is similar in some aspects to the County's Adopt-a-Roadway Program. The program encourages local civic organizations, individuals and fraternal and business groups to adopt a segment of a lake's shoreline.
Unlike an adopt-a-roadway program where litter cleanup is the sole component, the Lake County Adopt-a-Lake Program is comprised of three separate components. Volunteers can elect which components of the program best fit their desired level of participation.
Components of the program are:
• Water-quality monitoring component requires volunteers to perform field-testing and the collection of water-quality samples. Staff at the Lake County Water Resource Laboratory analyzes the samples, adding the data to a collection of information available on the Lake County Water Atlas at www.lake.wateratlas.org.
• Education component requires volunteers to take an integral role in alerting residents of how their daily activities can affect the water quality of lakes in their community. Through distributing brochures and speaking at neighborhood meetings, volunteers of the Adopt-a-Lake program will help other residents understand proper lakefront and shoreline practices.
• Pollution prevention component requires volunteers to remove and properly dispose of litter from a portion of lake's shoreline. Participants will be supplied with the necessary equipment and safety procedures for this activity. A secondary activity to this component is to maintain a fishing line (monofilament) recycling station in the adopted area.
The Lake County Department of Environmental Services is hosting an Adopt-a-Lake Program opening ceremony on Monday, Feb. 25, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Lake Idamere Park, located at 12335 County Road 448 in Tavares. During the event, staff will be recruiting volunteers for the new program. For more information or to sign up for the Lake County Adopt-a-Lake Program, call Cathie McGwier at (352) 253-1659 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.