I received the following email this morning from the "Save Our Lakes Now" organization. If you're a stakeholder in Lake Hartwell Real Estate or just enjoy the lake, joining this cause could make a difference.

STATUS OF SAVE OUR LAKES NOW EFFORTS

When trying to fight city hall you often feel nothing will ever come of your efforts. This is doubly true when you are up against federal regulations, environmental concerns, claims of selfishly wanting lake level at the expense of everyone downstream, and entrenched practices of the Corps of Engineers. But we are making progress. It's been slower than we would like but the ice is melting and real progress could well be just around the corner. The Corps is even planning a near term change to the drought plan using an EA which is what we have been pleading for for several years.

A year or so back our proposals for improved drought plans were met with numerous road blocks:
1) SEPA would never permit due to contracts on power production
2) Short Nosed Sturgeon spawning grounds would be destroyed
3) Dissolved Oxygen in the harbor would be impacted
4) Many of the industrial concerns downstream would suffer severe harm
5) The lakes would not be experiencing their fair share of problems during a drought
6) The economic effects of low lake levels are insignificant
7) Wildlife and Fisheries in Athens would never permit such a change
8) Congress would never permit such changes
9) Money from the states was needed to fund a phase 2 study

One by one each has been eliminated. None of these were valid reasons to not change our drought plan. Basically we became a fact finding organization and literally met with the groups the Corps claimed were preventing them from adopting our proposals. It turns out in the final analysis that the Corps can make such changes at their discretion provided an Environmental Assessment is made.
Billboard Purchased by SOLN
It has taken many hours of sitting down with the various parties involved to get their reasoning on the table. And it has taken publicizing our plight. Several newspapers, The Austin Rhodes Show (WGAC), our blogs etc. have finally penetrated the 
protective fog that once surrounded Corps decisions. We even put up a billboard and held a protest demonstration at Thurmond Dam. In the past 3 months we have visited Jeff Duncan, and Jim DeMint and continued communication with Paul Broun for assistance from our national Congressmen and Senators and Shane Massey for help at the State Senate level. We are presently visiting the various County Councils around the Lakes of the Savannah River Basin and plans are in progress to meet with the Governors of both GA and SC.

All this takes time and money. Up till now only a few people have been responsible for the work and funding. Save Our Lakes Now is seeking a larger working base to make things happen more quickly and to make sure we never slip back into the horrible lake levels experienced in past droughts. If you can help with your time, money, or both please come join our effort. Details are available at www.saveourlakesnow.org.