Please take a minute to read the great article about the Lake Martin Lake Watch program provided here at Camp ASCCA!
Published Wednesday, April 16, 2014
By Adam Powell
- original story here
A retired Colonel turned clean water activist – not necessarily the way that Dick Bronson, founder and long time president of Lake Watch of Lake Martin, would describe himself, but entirely accurate.
Bronson founded the organization roughly 25 years ago when he saw an injustice being done to Lake Martin.
According to Bronson, two textile mills were dumping waste into the lake and he felt that he had to do something to help.An effort Bronson thought would be done locally eventually got the attention of the state and federal government.
Bronson even received intimidating letters and late night phone calls but stayed the course. "You’ve got a choice in life, I can do this or not,” Bronson said. “And once you make that choice you’ve got to stay with it.”
Through Bronson’s hard-work and dedication, Lake Martin is now the cleanest lake in the state and received the designation of ‘Treasured Alabama Lake’, the only lake in the state to have such a title.
The mission of Lake Watch is to teach, research and maintain water quality. “We’re good at it, we think,” Bronson said. “And, mostly, we just enjoy it.” The group accomplishes their task in a series of ways, one of which is the Spring education sessions like the one that took place yesterday at Camp ASCCA.
“It’s a pretty extensive program,” Bronson said. “It’s definitely an intense three days for these kids.” The kids he was talking about were from Lee Scoot Academy in Auburn and are spending three days at the camp where they will participate in activities such as canoeing, fishing, nature center demonstrations and more.
Yesterday, at 10:45 a.m., Bronson began leading a group of students through the woods to a nearby stream where he taught them about the various invertebrates swimming the waters.
After a short run-down, the kids were dipping into the water and, in no time, fishing out buckets full of crawfish, salamanders and slimy aquatic insects that would one day become dragon flies and mosquito hawks.
“All this stuff they’re finishing is really good stuff,” Bronson said with a smile. “They just learn so much when they’re out here.”
After a while, the kids rendezvoused with Bronson and other chaperones on a small bridge to show off their finds and further discuss bio-diversity, pollution and eco-system changes.
Afterwards, the students were lead back to the dining hall where they were treated to burritos before hitting the zipline.
Bronson and company take part in this event every Spring when the camp is in its off-season and look forward to it every year. Along with their education programs, Lake Watch works in close conjunction with Auburn University to regularly check the quality of Lake Martin’s waters and maintain their cleanliness. “We’re really lucky to have the cleanest lake in the state,” Bronson said. “Our mission is just to keep it that way.”
For more information on Lake Watch and how you can get involved, visit them online at LakeWatch.org.