Hartwell Lake officials release new shoreline management plan

USACE, Savannah District
Published Nov. 5, 2020

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Officials from the Hartwell Dam and Lake Project recently released the latest Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for the reservoir.

“We felt like the previous SMP served the project well but needed minor clarification of some requirements. Also, this updated SMP incorporates information provided by residents, state agencies and others to set a more sustainable path for managing public land surrounding the lake,” said Aaron Wahus, Operations Project Manager. “The most significant change is the revised SMP now requires an inspection by a state licensed electrician of the electrical system on a dock every five years before renewal of the permit. This new requirement will begin for permits authorizing electrical service expiring on or after February 1, 2021.

Dock owners may now use solar DC power to provide electrical service to a dock. Solar power does not require recertification every five years. “Not only is solar a clean, safe energy source, it also minimizes impacts to public lands by eliminating the need to trench-in traditional power lines,” Sandy Campbell, natural resources manager at Hartwell Lake, said. “Solar power eliminates possible shock hazards for swimmers. It also eliminates inconveniences for dock owners needing to ‘chase water’ when reservoir levels recede.”

Additionally, utility rights of way and improved walkways are now considered supporting facilities for a dock, therefore can only be permitted if a dock is authorized. Property adjacent to Limited Development Areas (aka “green areas”) with greater than 20 feet of shared boundary line that are “non-dockable;” have until May 15, 2021, for approval of supporting facilities with installation due by expiration of the shoreline use permit.

The 2020 Hartwell Lake SMP and summary chart highlighting the changes and the associated Environmental Assessment can be viewed and downloaded at: https://go.usa.gov/xEt5j. All permit holders should receive a post card from the Corps informing them of the approval of the 2020 Hartwell Lake SMP with information on how and where to obtain a copy.

For questions regarding this issue, please call the Hartwell Lake Office at 706-856-0300.


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Billy Birdwell, Senior Public Affairs Specialist
912-677-6039 (cell)

Release no. 20-025