photo credit: Peggy Douglas
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’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. 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. These projects are eligible for SOLA3’s $3,000 matching grant. Read the full recommendations here.
Projects to improve the environment locally, and specifically our “Rehoboth Lakes,” are described below -APPLY FOR NEW LAKES IMPROVEMENT GRANT – with information on how your projects might be eligible for SOLA3’s cost sharing grant of up to $3,000. Spring is a great time to plan and implement projects that will enhance your property and improve our natural environment. SO DON’T DELAY.
APPLY FOR NEW LAKES IMPROVEMENT MATCHING GRANT
SOLA3 will provide up to $3000 annually for one or more cost-sharing grants for projects by property owners that enhance the health of Silver Lake, Lake Comegys, or Lake Gerar. Click to see guidelines and criteria, and an application form.
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.
SOLA3 and RBHA have continued to meet with local businesses and other interested parties. We felt that the response to our presentation to Chamber of Commerce members was positive and we will continue to work in multiple ways to achieve our goal.
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.
DNREC LAKES MANAGEMENT PLAN ON TRACK
SOLA3's meeting with DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin led to the formation of a partnership between Rehoboth Beach, the Town of Dewey Beach and Sussex County to develop a management plan for Silver Lake and Lake Comegys. It is funded by a DNRE C $50,000 matching grant , with the Army Corps of Engineers providing an additional $100,000. SOLA3 and other stakeholders will participate in the development of the plan, expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.
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.