The US Army Corps of Engineers has announced that an Environmental Assessment will soon begin on the impact of Hydrilla on Kerr Lake. If you are concerned about Hydrilla in Kerr Lake this may be your best opportunity to let the USACE know!
It is essential that persons experiencing boating, docking, launching and/or swimming difficulty in the water, which is completely under the domain of the US Army Corps of Engineers, make their concerns and/or problamatic circumstances known to the Corps in this very limited window of time.
Interested persons will have until November 26, 2012 to make written comment to the Corps or 30 days from the original notification that the Corps has now decided that it needs to study controlling Hydrilla; given that the agency now feels that Hydrilla elimination is out of the question.
The following letter does not say whether public comment will be taken at two Kerr Lake area meetings in the next few weeks. Those meetings are scheduled for November 13, 2012 â€” 5:30 – 7:30 PM at Vance Granville Community College Civic Center, 200 Community College Rd, Henderson, NC 27537; and on November 15, 2012 â€” 5:00 – 7:00 PM – John H Kerr Reservoir Visitor Assistance Center, 1930 Mays Chapel Road, Boydton, VA 23917
KLPW wants you to be aware of the critical importance of this process. Here is the notification letter in its unedited and complete form:
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
WILMINGTON DISTRICT, CORPS OF ENGINEERS
JOHN H. KERR RESERVOIR
1930 MAYS CHAPEL ROAD
BOYDTON, VIRGINIA 23917-9725
October 26, 2012
Visitor Assistance Center
Dear Sir or Madam:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Wilmington District, is preparing a Kerr
Reservoir Aquatic Vegetation Management Program (AVMP). In order to implement that
program, an Environmental Assessment (EA) will be developed for the evaluation of the
environmental impacts on John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir Project (Kerr Reservoir) and
contiguous water bodies, associated with the AVMP. We are requesting comments from
agencies, interest groups, and the public to identify significant resources and issues of concern
with regard to the proposed action. Comments received during the scoping period will be
considered during preparation of the EA.
The EA is being prepared in accordance with the requirements of the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and will address the project’s
relationship to all applicable Federal and State laws and Executive Orders. Significant resources
known to occur in the study area include fisheries; terrestrial; human (including socioeconomic,
recreational and aesthetic); water, wetlands; and cultural. Potential impacts on these resources,
as well as, threatened and endangered species, air quality, shore processes, and any potential
hazardous and toxic waste (HTW) sites in the project area will be fully addressed in the EA.
Should there be other issues which you believe should be discussed in the EA, please take this
opportunity to bring them to our attention.
The presence of aquatic vegetation is an important component to the ecosystem in a
manmade impoundment such as Kerr Reservoir. As the reservoir matures vegetation spreads
throughout the shallows providing habitat for fish, waterfowl and wading birds, benefiting water
quality, and stabilizing shorelines and bottom sediments. Over the past few years dense
vegetative mats dominated by hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) have become established. Hydrilla
is an invasive species on the US Department of Agriculture Federal Noxious Weed List.
Hydrilla is interfering with public use at Kerr Reservoir by restricting access around boat ramps,
blocking use of docks, interfering with swimming and other water sports, blocking access to
coves, and interfering with bank fishing. These dense mats are also degrading habitat for and
displacing native aquatic vegetation.
In the fall of 2011, North Carolina State University (NCSU) conducted an aquatic
vegetation survey of 650 miles of shoreline. Hydrilla was the most prevalent invasive species
identified, infesting approximately 698 acres primarily in the Little Nutbush Creek and Nutbush
Creek arms of Kerr Reservoir. Hydrilla occurred most often in shallow water high use areas
including boat ramps, marinas, and in areas with concentrations of private floating docks. Areas
of undeveloped shoreline were found to contain almost no hydrilla.
The intent of the Kerr Reservoir AVMP is to maintain a healthy and sustainable ecosystem dominated by native aquatic vegetation. Elimination of hydrilla in Kerr Reservoir considered a realistic outcome given the wide geographic extent of the current infestation,
due to the high variability in effectiveness and limitations of the available control methods.
Therefore, management and control alternatives for hydrilla will be a key component of AVMP. Alternatives for control of invasive species to be considered for implementation include chemical control by herbicides, biological control by triploid (sterile) grass Ctenopharyngodon idella – triploid), and removal with hand tools. Mechanical harvesting currently being considered since this method can further spread invasive plants due to
fragmentation. Establishment and promotion of native aquatic vegetation will also be
considered to reestablish native vegetation in areas where invasive plants are removed unvegetated areas.
As part of the scoping process for the EA, two public information and comment been scheduled.
November 13, 2012 â€” 5:30 – 7:30 PM – Vance Granville Community College Civic Center
200 Community College Rd, Henderson, NC 27537
November 15, 2012 â€” 5:00 – 7:00 PM – John H Kerr Reservoir Visitor Assistance Center
1930 Mays Chapel Road, Boydton, VA 23917
The public are invited to come at any time during these open sessions to learn more proposed Kerr AVMP. Comments received during the scoping process may also result coordination with individuals or agencies on an as-needed basis to discuss certain issues.
In order to effectively address any concerns that are raised, we need to have your no later than 30 days from the date of this letter. Please send comments to:
Kerr Reservoir AVMP
US Army Corps of Engineers OR e-mail to:
1930 Mays Chapel Road JHKERR@usace.army.mil
Boydton, Virginia 23917
Additional information on the proposed Kerr Reservoir AVMP can be found at http://www.saw.usace.army.milijhkerrishmgmt.htm. Should you have any questions, contact Mr. Robert Dennis at 434-738-6101 extension 160.
Michael T. Womack
Operations Project Manager