After Workshop #2: What Next?
After Workshop #2: What Next?
The participants of Workshop #2 almost unanimously agreed to let the members of the “Communications Panel” develop some suggestions as to where to go next. The panel, except for one person, accepted this responsibility and spent several month discussing the issue among each other via email.
No real consensus materialized, although certain common threads emerged. The problem as to how to move forward has been handed back to me.
The panel provided two documents:
- “Deep Creek Lake Watershed Information Repository (M0754708)” by David Myerberg
- “InformationManagerInternDraft_v2.0” by Nichols Bowman
The first one was the starting point for their discussions, the second one a possible implementation. Both documents are included with this memo.
I would like to fold into the present discussion my own observations about communications, which I wrote down shortly after Workshop #2. These, “DCL_Communications,” are included in the References also.
The fourth item I would like to incorporate into the discussion is SPORE, mentioned in Nick’s document. SPORE, basically Morgan France, Bob Hoffman, and myself, was formed right after the workshop to “Advance the Knowledge and Understanding of Deep Creek Lake,” or to “To examine and clarify the many myths, confusion, false information, and conjectures that seem to be uttered and repeated at pretty much all of the public meetings that involve Deep Creek Lake issues.” We meet every Monday for lunch at Brenda’s to discuss whatever topic is at hand. During the subsequent week we develop more concrete things. I have restructured the “deepcreekanswers.com” website, that I developed right after Workshop #1, to report on the findings of SPORE. This website contains over 400 web pages of information, maps, charts, and photos. This website could provide the foundation or basis for communicating all things Deep Creek Lake. I have reviewed all of this material and some of the later emails from the ‘Communications Panel” on which I was copied and offer my analysis and suggestions here. Analysis The basic common threads are that the science needs to be done in a college or university setting and that the necessary funding to perform that function has to be raised by a private group.
That being said, I arranged for a meeting with the president of Garrett College, Dr. Rick MacLennan, to discuss the issue. Dr. MacLennon attended the 2nd workshop and was essentially up to speed as to what was going on. I met with Dr. MacLennan and Jim Allen, who oversees the colleges programs, for over an hour.
As a straw-man for discussion I had submitted the following agenda:
- The willingness of the College to be a part of “The Future Well-being of Deep Creek Lake,” a la Deep Creek Institute (no financial commitments contemplated by the College)
- The availability of a small office space for a physical presence (In the Accident building? - we don’t need to have a direct interaction with the campus)
- The kind of operational structure suited to the College (a “Program Office”, a NonProfit organization? The latter will provide the opportunity for a Board of Directors; the other perhaps an “At Large Committee or a Steering Committee)
- The kind of cooperative relationships with other Institutions (Frostburg, WVU, UMD Environmental Lab in Frostburg?) I think are are possible connections, especially if we can define internships or graduate studies grants
- Sources for grant money - could be with in-kind donations from the POA, or even special donations from lake property owners or foundations, and a contribution by DNR Lake Management
- People that can assist in putting grant applications together
- Costs associated with the above.
We touched upon all of the items mentioned in the agenda, but Dr. MacLennan seemed reluctant until I proposed, as a possible way of doing business, the following:
- Establish a Program Office with a new full-time faculty member with a background in Environmental Science and a new full-time assistant to operate the office.
- The operations of the office would be funded by outside money. The cost for this would be about $120K to $140K/year
- The College would provide office space and incorporate the Program Office within their promotions and academic activities
- The new faculty member would teach no more than one class
We agreed that this was a good foundation and that I would explore this with the workshop participants. This is much along the lines proposed in Dr. David Myerberg’s writeup and something I’ve been championing over the years.
NOTE. There are roughly 5,000 homes on lake-front and lake-access properties. If each were to contribute yearly $50, that would raise $250,000, sufficient to staff the office and issue several graduate studies scholarships!
So here we are… I’m exploring… Again…
Proposal The biggest question is: Where would the money come from? Another important question is: How do we define programs and set priorities?
There is a reluctance to have the POA be in charge of this, and I believe, it’s primarily because of its closed business structure. Hence I suggest the following possibility.
Establish a Non-For-Profit organization with a paying membership and an unpaid elected Board of Directors. The purpose of this organization is basically two-fold:
- To raise money, generally grants and special fund raisers
- To establish and fund the programs overseen by the Program Office at the College
- This organization must focus only on the scientific aspects of “The Future Well-Being of Deep Creek Lake.”
- The BOD makes all of the decisions.
- Moving Forward To move forward with this topic I suggest that the POA takes the lead on this, as they did with the two workshops, and establishes a small group of stakeholders that will investigate the ideas presented herein, and others that may be suggested on the way, and develop a plan that would then be sent to the workshop participants for comment. Probably the way to go is for the POA’s “Water Quality” committee to meet and define the stake holder group and its charter.
First Published: 2012-05-07
Script Collection: NONE
FILE: 2012-05-07-Where To Next?.md
Adapted for this website: 01/14/2018
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