TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners were presented with an update at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday on the Adopt-a-Lake Program, which was created about a year ago, and designated Wednesday, Feb. 25, as the First Annual Adopt-a-Lake Day.
The Lake County Adopt-a-Lake Program is a volunteer initiative that encourages the community to become involved with protecting, preserving and restoring Lake County's hundreds of lakes. Since its inception, the program has received nearly 2,000 volunteer hours to collect 262 water-quality samples, remove trash from 137 miles of shoreline, install 12 monofilament recycling bins and host 47 educational events.
“The volunteer work that is being done to protect our lakes is important,” said County Commissioner Welton Cadwell, Chairman of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners.
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: Water-quality monitoring, public education and pollution prevention. 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.
For more information about Lake County Adopt-a-Lake Program, call Cathie McGwier at (352) 253-1659 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.