Governor Riley said the designation will give ADEM another tool to protect and enhance Alabama’s water resources.
“Alabama is blessed with such an abundance of natural resources,” Governor Riley said. “Too often we take it for granted, but acre for acre, you won’t find another state in the country with the wealth of natural resources Alabama has. We have inherited from God and from generations that came before us a land that is rich in beauty and diverse in landscape. We have an obligation to protect and enhance our environment so that future generations can inherit what we enjoy so much today. That’s why I’m proud we are establishing the Alabama Treasured Lakes designation.”
Alabama has more than 77,000 miles of rivers, lakes, and streams that support transportation, recreation, and economic opportunities for thousands of Alabamians. Lake Martin, one of Alabama’s best-known and most visited lakes, will be the first in line to receive the Treasured Alabama Lake designation.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has worked with Governor Riley and numerous stakeholders to pursue this goal of establishing a Treasured Alabama Lake designation. Likewise, Lake Martin Lake Watch has for many years sought ways to assure that Lake Martin will continue to be one of the most treasured bodies of water in Alabama.
ADEM Director Lance LeFleur, who was on hand for the signing ceremony, thanked Governor Riley and others who have pushed for this designation saying it will help his agency protect Alabama waters.
“The Department is very proud to be a part of this historic moment that will result in additional protection for Alabama’s water resources,” LeFleur said. “I appreciate all of the efforts put forth by the local stakeholders in this area, the leadership of Governor Riley, and the hard work of the dedicated staff at ADEM to make this dream a reality.”
Dick Bronson, President of Lake Watch - Lake Martin said, "We’ve always known that Lake Martin was the cleanest lake in Alabama and this designation is verification of that belief. It’s also a testament to nearly 18 years of water quality monitoring by Lake Watch volunteers who were trained by Alabama Water Watch personnel at Auburn University."
The Executive Order reads as follows:
EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 54
WHEREAS, Alabama has vital water resources in lakes and waterways; and
WHEREAS, the quality of Alabama’s water is of concern from both an environmental and economic perspective; and
WHEREAS, lakes represent an important economic, recreational, and environmental resource for the state; and
WHEREAS, there are lakes in the state where water quality exceeds the minimum standards set for their designated uses; and
WHEREAS, lakes exhibiting exceptional qualities are deserving of special recognition; and
WHEREAS, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has statutory authority to protect the quality of Alabama’s surface water resources pursuant to the Alabama Water Pollution Control Act; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bob Riley, Governor of the State of Alabama, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of Alabama and for other good and valid reasons, which relate thereto, do hereby direct the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to utilize all available guidance, data and information to set designation qualifications, identify candidate reservoirs and create an appropriate special designation recognizing treasured Alabama lakes within six months of the date of this executive order.
BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that this Executive Order shall become effective immediately upon signing and shall remain in effect until amended or rescinded by the Governor.
DONE AND ORDERED this 28th day of December 2010.