Mountain Island Lake Lakekeeper Message
A message from Alice Battle, the Mountain Island Lake Lakekeeper for the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation
The Catawba River is 224 miles long. Its watershed has experienced some of the greatest growth in the state of North Carolina. American Rivers has listed the Catawba as one of the most endangered waterways in the country because of this development.
Mountain Island Lake, part of the Catawba River chain, is a small lake of 3,240 acres bordered by Mecklenburg, Gaston and Lincoln Counties. Mecklenburg County gets 80% of its water supply from Mountain Island Lake. The cities of Gastonia and Mt. Holly pump all their water from the lake.
A coal-fired steam plant, Riverbend, uses the lake as a source of water for its operation. It also has two settling basins for ash, which eventually empty into the lake. Coal ash contains heavy metals, which are harmful to living creatures.
McDowell Creek, one of the main streams that flow into the lake, receives the discharge from the largest waste water treatment plant in Mecklenburg County. McDowell Creek is also classified as an impaired steam (303-d) due to the development activity that is occurring in its watershed. Sediment has clogged it.
The Mountain Island Covekeepers have the important role of monitoring activity on the lake. This includes monitoring buffer violations, building activity in the watershed, sediment spills, and any activity that would impair the water quality in the lake.
The Mountain Island Covekeepers are part of the volunteer corps that support the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation in its role of protecting and advocating for the entire Catawba River. Anyone who is interested in protecting the river is welcomed to join our group. All members of the Mountain Island Covekeepers must be members of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation.
Send the Lakekeeper an email