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Duke Energy’s recreation plan gets federal green light

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By Press Release

CHARLOTTE, NC – On Dec. 19, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave Duke Energy the green light to move forward on the Catawba-Wateree recreation management plan.

The plan, submitted for FERC review and approval in November 2016, includes public recreation requirements and agreements included in the new 40-year license FERC issued in 2015 for the Catawba-Wateree’s Hydroelectric Project. The project encompasses nearly 1,800 miles of shoreline along 11 reservoirs in nine counties in North Carolina and five in South Carolina.

The recreation commitments in the plan are extensive and include 89 proposed public projects and enhancements at 32 existing recreation areas; 26 new access areas will be built at a number of lakes – including James, Norman and Wateree – over the course of the 20-year project. Construction phases are divided into five-year periods for 20 years.

”We appreciate the support of the many relicensing stakeholders, local, state and federal elected officials, resource agencies and others who were involved in developing the recreation plan and seeing it come to fruition,” said Steve Jester, Duke Energy’s vice president of Water Strategy, Hydro Licensing & Lake Services.

“These projects will provide additional recreational opportunities to residents and visitors to the Catawba-Wateree area and enhance local economies with more leisure tourism.”

 

Plan highlights

Duke Energy has been actively planning for construction over the past five years by purchasing or leasing property, completing detailed engineering plans and preparing environmental permits. This means the Duke Energy recreation team is ready to start construction on projects slated for the first five-year period, beginning in 2018.

Projects include new picnic facilities, fishing piers, swim beaches, campgrounds, expanded parking, restrooms and additional boating access areas.

Under the first five years of the plan and the project’s comprehensive relicensing agreement, Duke Energy will:

• Construct 12 new access areas spanning from Lake James in North Carolina to Lake Wateree in South Carolina

• Complete upgrades at Black Bear (Lake James), Beatties Ford (Lake Norman) and Allison Creek (Lake Wylie) access areas

• Complete 14 of 20 recreation projects from Lake Wylie to Lake Wateree

• Provide more than $4 million primarily for local governments to develop public recreation

• Offer new or renewed leases to local governments and state agencies to operate and maintain access areas in their jurisdictional areas

 

Recreation projects include:

• Springs Park Access Area- two one-lane ramps, courtesy dock, vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA); Proposed enhancements- fishing pier, bank fishing trail, vehicle only parking (in five years)

• Fishing Creek Access Area- two one-lane boat ramps, courtesy dock, vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA); Proposed enhancements- fishing pier, additional paved parking, picnic facilities, restrooms and a swimming area, if feasible (in 10 years)

• Fishing Creek Tailrace Fishing Area- Proposed enhancements- platform, pier or bank fishing trail with wildlife viewing facility and paved parking (in 10 years)

• Nitrolee Access Area (formerly known as Highway 200 Bridge Access Area)- Proposed enhancements- a canoe/kayak launch, restrooms and gravel parking area (in five years)

• Great Falls Diversion Dam Portage- Proposed enhancements- portage trail (in five years)

• Lower Great Falls Reservoir Canoe/Kayak Launch- Proposed enhancements- canoe/kayak launch (in 10 years)

• Great Falls Headworks Portage- Proposed enhancements- portage trail (in five years)

• Great Falls Headworks-to-Cedar Creek Reservoir Portage- Proposed enhancements- portage trail (in five years)

• Mudcat Inn Access Area- Proposed enhancements- canoe/kayak access, seven gravel parking spaces and wildlife viewing facility (in10 years)

• Stumpy Pond Access Area- one one-lane boat ramp, vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA) canoe/kayak launch area

• Debutary Creek Access Area- one one-lane boat  ramp, gravel (undefined) vehicle and vehicle with trailer parking

• Cedar Creek Access Area- two one-lane boat ramps, gravel (undefined) vehicle and vehicle with trailer parking

• Wateree Creek Access Area- two one-lane boat ramps, courtesy dock, vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA) Proposed  enhancements- fishing, pier, picnic facility, restroom and approximately 10 gravel parking spaces (in five years)

• Taylors Creek Access Area- two one-lane boat ramps, courtesy dock, vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA)

• Taylors Creek Fishing Area- Proposed enhancements- approximately 10 gravel parking spaces (in 10 years)

• June Creek Access Area- two one-lane boat ramps, courtesy dock, vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA)

• Molly Creek Access Area- Proposed enhancements- swimming area, paved parking, restrooms, trails, bank and pier fishing, picnic facilities and trailered boat access (in five years)

• Colonels Creek Access Area- three one-lane boat ramps, vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA) Proposed enhancements- a courtesy dock, swimming area, restrooms, picnic shelter and additional paved parking (in five years)

• White Oak Access Area- four one-lane boat ramps, two courtesy docks, vehicle only and vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA), event dock

• Lugoff Access Area- one one-lane boat ramp, undefined gravel vehicle only and vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA), fishing platform. Proposed enhancements- restrooms, improved gravel parking and wildlife viewing facility.