CONGRESSMAN BISHOP SENDS LETTER TO ARMY CORPS CONCERNING HYDRILLA GROWTH
Apr 27, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) authored a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concerning the ongoing hydrilla infestation in Lake Seminole.
In the letter, Congressman Bishop urged the Army Corps to dedicate sufficient resources to control the hydrilla growth and preserve the natural ecology of Lake Seminole. Congressman Bishop also called on the Army Corps to adequately prioritize and restore functionality to the Water F. George lock and dam, which is currently closed to all commercial and recreational traffic.
The full text of the letter can be found below:
April 26, 2017
Brigadier General C. David Turner, P.E.
Commanding General, South Atlantic Division
United States Army Corps of Engineers
60 Forsyth Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30303-8801
Dear Brigadier Turner:
I am writing concerning the Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to treat aquatic weeds (hydrilla) at Lake Seminole and Lake Walter F. George in Southwest Georgia.
Earlier this month, I hosted a Town Hall meeting in Donalsonville, Georgia that focused on the impact of the hydrilla infestation in Lake Seminole. Colonel James DeLapp from the Army Corps of Engineers’ Mobile District Office, discussed his plan to control hydrilla growth to an audience of local elected officials and residents. I am concerned that the strategy he outlined will not be adequate to address this crisis as it only covers less than 55 percent of Lake Seminole leaving a massive area of the body of water untreated that will allow the undesirable spread of the aquatic plant.
I also was troubled to discover that the Walter F. George Lock and Dam is considered the Army Corps of Engineers’ lowest priority. From my understanding, the lock and dam will remain closed to all commercial and recreational traffic until it is fully restored; however, the required repairs remain unscheduled and unfunded. Furthermore, the current level of service at the lock and dam is at level six which is the Army Corps’ lowest lock and dam management priority. As a result, the low priority continues to impact the recreational and the economic sustainability of the local community.
I am requesting that the Army Corps of Engineers dedicate a sufficient amount of resources to the underfunded efforts to control the hydrilla growth in public use areas and to preserve the natural ecology of Lake Seminole. In addition, I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to adequately prioritize and restore complete the functionality to the Walter F. George lock and dam.
Thank you for your attention and support on this matter. If you have any questions please contact Patrick Newbold on my staff at (202) 225-3631.
With warmest regards, I remain
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.
Member of Congress