Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Flooding: A reminder to care for the land

Posted By on Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Humans love to conquer nature, and we're good at it, too. We cut down trees, alter rivers, extract precious resources, pave over anything that's in our way and build what we want, where we want it. But, every time I hear about flooding in Charlotte, I'm reminded that no matter how docile it may appear, nature is still ultimately in charge.

You, dear CLog readers, and I have discussed this problem many times before. (Read: Why does it flood every time it storms?) So, by now, you should know that while all of the development that accompanies a growing city is nice, when it's done without taking nature into consideration unhappy things — like urban flooding — are bound to occur.

Now, I'm not saying we don't want our city to grow. Not at all. I'm saying let's grow responsibly and be good stewards of our natural resources, preserving them for future generations.

Speaking of which, there's a hot discussion going on right now regarding Mountain Island Lake — aka the water that comes out of your faucet.

The Mountain Island Lake Marine Commission would like to limit the size of boats allowed to use Mountain Island Lake as part of their lake management plan. Why? Because big boats create big problems. One example: The wake left behind after a boat zips through the water lashes the shore and contributes to sediment erosion. Sediment just so happens to be a major source of pollution.

Now, in my opinion, all motorized boats should head 20 minutes up the highway to Lake Norman and stay out of our drinking water. I realize that opinion won't fly, but it's one I'm happy to share — thank you First Amendment.

If you've got an opinion on the matter, you're welcome to share it too. And, as a water drinker who will be affected — one way or another -- by this new boating regulation, you should know you have an opportunity to share you opinion tomorrow night.

The Mountain Island Lake Marine Commission is holding a public meeting in Mt. Holly Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. Learn more, and get directions, at MarineCommission.com.

Once pollution is in the water, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities — as well as some Gaston County municipalities — have to clean it out of the water so we can use it for all of the many things we use water for in our every day lives. Who pays for the clean up, which occurs every day at the water treatment plants just up the road? Tax payers do, of course.

How many of you tax payers plan to ride around in your extra-large boat on Mountain Island Lake this summer? Probably not too many, though we'll all still get stuck with the clean-up bill.

All the more reason to attend Wednesday night's meeting, don't you think?

Mountain Island Lake, of course, is part of the Catawba River. Here is a look at some of the river's issues:

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