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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  •  Watershed group seeks new look

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    By Peter Becker
    Managing Editor
    The overseers of Lake Walenpaupack's environmental condition are looking for a way to better get their message across to the public.
    The board of directors of the nonprofit organization known as the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District (LWWMD) is discussing finding a new logo and web site.
    Trish Attardo, who represents Monroe County on the board, said that the Public Relations committee is looking at a couple local companies that can redesign the web site. The District wants to present water quality data to the public, as well as a question and answer section. There could also be links to other water quality organizations, and videos A live web cam showing an osprey nest on a PPL pole, near the Wallenpaupack dam, is still being discussed.
    Associate memberships may also be created,which would carry a fee. Some suggestions include sending an associate member a newsletter as well as offer perhaps a cup or a patch. There could also be a summer picnic for associate members.
    Re-branding the corporate identity of the organization is a big abut important step, Nick Spinelli, Administrator, noted. It would serve to help the community better understand their mission of protecting the lake's ecology. Some people mistakingly believe the LWWMD passes regulations, he noted. By realizing what they can and cannot do, the public is better poised to come to the District for assistance at keeping the lake clean.
    Formed in 1979, the LWWMD is a multi-governmental, nonprofit corporation that manages the watershed. They address water quality problems that arise. Among their tasks are to provide public education; serve as a conduit for grant funds that come available to help the public correct or prevent conditions that pollute the lake and monitor Lake Wallenpaupack for water quality.
    •The board also reviewed the status of several projects being done by property owners around the lake, utilizing the 50/50 Cost-Share program administered by the LWWMD. The third round of funding is coming up, from the PPL Relicensing funds.
    Typical projects are stopping stream bank erosion, correcting storm runoff that leads to the lake or tributaries and helping farmers better manage manure laden with nutrients that can wash into the lake and foster algae blooms.
    While most projects are done or being completed, there are still some from 2011 that have not been pursued although the applicants were awarded the grant funds. The money was never allocated, pending satisfactory completion, but the funds could be used by others who have projects, Spinelli said.
    Their solicitor will be consulted to see if the District can legally revoke the project money and cancel a previously approved but dormant project. Should the board take this action, a certified letter would be sent to each of these property owners warning them.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Fund-raising letters are going out to 235 businesses in the watershed.
    • Alex Zidock, the 2011-2012 chairman for LWWMD, recently highlighted the District's water quality sampling on his TV program. Zidock produces Wallenpaupack LIFE, a 30-minute program on Blue Ridge Communications TV 13. It airs 12 times a month. Various aspects of the Lake Region's activities, culture and natural resources are highlighted.
    • Winter office hours are in affect the the LWWMD office: Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their office is located next to the PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center.
    For more information call the District at (570)226-3865 or visit
    www.wallenpaupackwatershed.org. 
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