Out here in far western Maryland, we have learned Gov. Larry Hogan has signed an executive order to delay opening of schools until after Labor Day. The backdrop for his announcement was a beautiful summer day at Ocean City, but Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County are also tourism-based economies, and most likely local businesses will benefit by this extension of number of weeks of summer vacation ("Labor day madness," Aug. 30).
But the governor could help us benefit more. We ask that Governor Hogan make a commitment to keep Deep Creek Lake "open" for recreational use at least through Labor Day and preferably until our Autumn Glory festival in October. Business owners here often bemoan there are only 80 days annually to support their year-round business.
Our 91-year-old lake has 10 sediment-impaired coves because the lake has never been dredged. By mid-August, these coves lose water levels due to withdrawal by the hydro-electric dam. At this early time, property owners begin removing boats and docks, and our visitors can no longer swim, fish or boat in these areas.
Governor Hogan, Secretary of Natural Resources Mark J. Belton and the Comptroller Peter Franchot have recently expressed understanding of our need for state investment to remove sediment at Deep Creek Lake. So now is the time to take action to provide our businesses and property owners with at least three more weeks of recreational enjoyment through Labor Day.
Barbara Beelar, Oakland
The writer is director of Friends of Deep Creek Lake.