photo credit: Peggy Douglas
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE WORKSHOP
held on Saturday, September 10, 2022
Sponsored by Save Our Lakes Alliance 3
at Rehoboth Elementary School
At this workshop, attendees learned about environmental threats that we can no longer avoid, and strategies to prepare for these dangerous threats.
They also learned about:
how to build sustainable communities
how to protect your property, health and safety
The full video is now available on YouTube. You can access each speaker's presentation by the time stamp provided or scroll further to find thumbnails of each presentation shown as a "chapter." The Q&A for each talk is a separate chapter. Access the full workshop here.
Saving Natural Treasures
Founded in 2004, Save Our Lakes Alliance 3 (SOLA3) is the only non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to protecting, preserving and maintaining three freshwater lakes -- Silver Lake, Lake Comegys and Lake Gerar -- located in the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware area.
While recognized by Delaware's General Assembly as integral to the ambiance of the local community, the closest freshwater lakes in the nation in proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and as natural and historic treasures, they suffer from extreme pollution, resulting in inconsistent water levels, rampant algae, massive fish kills, turbidity of the water and mud flats created from an abundance of silt deposits.
To address these problems, we provide education to the community, and work with local and state officials to improve the lakes environment to leave a legacy of cleaner water for future generations.
SOLA3 DEDICATES BIRD INTERPRETIVE SIGNS
After a delay of a year because of Covid, on October 9, 2021, Save Our Lakes
Alliance3 (SOLA3) dedicated beautiful signs identifying the resident birds of
Silver Lake and Lake Comegys. The signs are SOLA3's educational gift to the
community for their generous support and to fulfill an objective of our mission
to educate the public about these lakes and their inhabitants. A reception
followed the dedication at a nearby residence along Silver Lake.
SOLA3 Secretary, Diane Hanson, worked with various people on the project.
Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Division of Fish and Wildlife staff was the authority for the birds. The beautiful
photos of the birds on the signs were provided by award-winning photographers
from the Sussex Bird Club and Coastal Camera Club. Aloysius Butler & Clark
donated their time and expertise to design the signs. And Precision Color
Graphics Incolor Digital produced the signs.
The event was attended by Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Speaker Pete
Schwartzkopf, Senator Ernie Lopez, David Saveikis, DNREC's Director of Fishand
Wildlife, along with community leaders, SOLA3's board and its many "Friends."
Please visit this installation located at the Silver Lake bird refuge on the south side of Silver Lake Bridge, adjacent to Silver Lake Drive. SOLA3 encourages everyone to
protect the natural habitat of birds and other wildlife by maintaining a natural riparian buffer along the lakes' shoreline.
SOLA3 OPPOSES NEW DOCK PROJECTS AT LAKE COMEGYS AND SILVER LAKE
SOLA3 submitted its opposition to an application filed with DNREC’s division of
Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section (WLSL) in April, 2020 for a large dock
project at Lake Comegys. The basis for opposition was... “Being allowed to build a
private structure [of that size] on what is essentially public space is a privilege, not a
right. With that privilege should come responsibility to protect the surrounding
wildlife and assure that other homeowners living around the lake can continue to
enjoy the beauty and tranquility provided by this public, natural resource.” The Lake
Comegys Home Owners Association and nearby neighbors also filed in opposition.
SOLA3 also submitted its opposition to an application filed July 2020 with WLSL for
a massive dock project at Silver Lake. The application was deficient in many ways,
that included a claim of ownership into the lake, not getting a permit from the Army
Corps of Engineers and in violation of a City of Rehoboth Beach ordinance
prohibiting building structures into the 10’ no-build buffer. To avoid continuing
claims of private ownership into subaqueous lands, our comments also stressed “...
that the effort to complete a management plan [by DNREC] be accelerated so that
the public is aware of State ownership, and of what is and is not permissible.”
SOLA3’S EXTENSIVE COMMENTS FOR REHOBOTH BEACH COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Save Our Lakes Alliance3 (SOLA3) presented its recommendations for the City of Rehoboth Beach's 2020 Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) to the Rehoboth Planning Commission on August 28. Read the full recommendations here. While the recommendations are comprehensive, SOLA3 put special emphasis on the need for Rehoboth to develop a comprehensive storm water management plan to address flooding throughout the city. SOLA3 states that the impact of climate change could result in coastal inundation from the Atlantic Ocean by as much as 7 feet and areas round Lake Gerar and Silver Lake by as much as 3 feet, and recommends that Rehoboth install a citywide green infrastructure to address these and related issues. Furthermore, Rehoboth should provide incentives to property owners to install green remedies, such as downspout disconnection, rain barrels, rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, permeable surfaces and riparian buffers.
SOLA3 JOINS WITH RBHA TO REQUEST SINGLE USE PLASTICS BAN IN THE CITY OF REHOBOTH BEACH
On December 9, 2019, SOLA3 and the Rehoboth Beach Homeowners' Association requested that the Mayor and Commissioners pass an ordinance that would :
Ban single-use plastic carryout bags used by retailers and restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.
Require that plastic straws be used "by request only."
Ban polystyrene (Styrofoam) containers.
Read our letter to the Mayor and Commissioners here. We asked that the ban go into effect 3-6 months following the State ban on single use plastic bags (Jan. 2021). This will allow local businesses ample time to prepare.
CITY OF REHOBOTH BEACH ADOPTS ORDINANCE TO PROTECT CONSTRUCTION SITES FROM RUNOFF
After 10 years since SOLA3 recommended this ordinance for the City of Rehoboth's Comprehensive Development Plan, The City adopted it on November 15, 2019. Included were SOLA3's recommendations to strengthen the proposed language that were presented to the Mayor and Commissioners by Sallie Forman, SOLA3 President at the November 4 workshop. This ordinance will result in less sediment and other runoff pollutants entering Silver Lake and Lake Gerar.
TREES AND MORE TREES!
SOLA3 will participate in Rehoboth Beach's Commemorative Tree Program by sponsoring the planting of trees near Silver Lake and Lake Gerar. Trees not only provide habitat and food for wildlife, but also reduce stormwater runoff and help control shoreline erosion.