Cary Officials Aboard Environmental Awareness Tour
Perfect weather on Saturday morning, June 15 provided a stunning backdrop for our Environmental Awareness Tour of Jordan Lake with Town of Cary elected and appointed officials.
Town council members Jennifer Robinson and Jack Smith were joined by Jamie Revels, the Utilities Director and Jeff Adkins, the Water Resources Manager as well as Rick Savage, President of Carolina Wetlands Association, Chair of Cary’s Environmental Advisory Board.
Jordan Lake Journeys provided the pontoon boat and owner Randy Johnson offered commentary about his unique view of Jordan Lake as a tour operator. The event was made possible by Syngenta Community grant to Clean Jordan Lake.
The Tour started at Poes Ridge Boat ramp near the dam. We disembarked along the way up the New Hope Channel to show participants the “trash line”. High waters since last September left a line of trash mixed in with natural debris far above the current shoreline in a section we have not yet cleaned, south of New Hope Overlook. The variety of trash was eye-opening to the participants, but not surprising - sporting equipment, plastic and glass bottles, cigarette lighters, and even a life vest!
During the Tour, we explained that most trash comes from the watershed, not from recreational use of the lake. We brought along a bag full of different items to show the wide variety. A large, heavy plastic water meter cover and a kid’s batting helmet from Greensboro were held up to show how far away trash can come. Our volunteers had recovered them from coves along the Haw River Arm.
The tour continued under the bridge at Rt. 64, and turned back after having a view of the Cary water intake and the unique lake aeration system. Cary professional staff emphasized the importance of the lake in providing water for Cary and surrounding water customers in Apex, Morrisville, and the RDU airport.
A highlight of the Tour was when Randy pointed out three osprey nests, two of which were rebuilt since last winter. Randy demonstrated the sounds made by osprey and eagles with recordings on his smartphone..
There was ample time for discussion of ways in which Cary and Clean Jordan Lake could cooperate. Jennifer Robinson offered refreshing ideas on how to engage more youth groups from the Cary area in the Annual Fall Trash Cleanup scheduled for October 26, billing it as a Super Cleanup. Most unique was the idea to award a merit badge to scouts by having an educational component with their cleanup work. We look forward to Cary’s involvement in the future to preserve Jordan Lake!