Survey Results
We would like to thank everyone who has responded to our Lake James Environmental Association Survey. Since mid-November (when the survey was published), we have received 182 responses. Forty percent of those survey responses came from LJEA members. We really appreciate your feedback and everyone on our board is taking your feedback and comments to help formulate what we focus on in the future.
This is what you told us:

Note: While 87% of you rated our water quality as as “Generally Good” to “Excellent,” there is a large disparity in the view by respondents from McDowell and Burke Counties.
Note: Similar to the chart above, while many of those taking the survey feel that the water quality has not declined over time, a larger percentage from McDowell County feel more strongly that there has been a decline.

Note: By far the biggest concern shared about pollution or silt were from residential development, increasing boat traffic and unprotected shorelines.

Note: The biggest concern about chemical pollutants is from discharge of businesses upstream of the lake.

Note: A large percentage of respondents are concerned about the threat of invasive species.

Note: Silt is a concern everywhere but Catawba River and erosion from the banks of our lake are more of a concern.

Our respondents were primarily concerned with population growth and downstream demands on water having an impact on our water quantity.

You told us that we all have work to do to better protect our lake…some more than others!

You also told us that the work that the Lake James Environmental Association does is important. Thank you!

More important than the statistics shown in the charts above, your comments were very helpful. While the survey was in no way scientific, the comments were very reflective of what we see in some of our scientific studies of the lake (i.e. our respondents know the lake well!). A few common themes emerged in the comments:

  1. There is great concern about the impact of the growth of the population around the lake and in our watershed.
  2. A strong focus should be on educating those developing and moving into our area that may have an impact on our watershed in the future.
  3. Increased boat traffic and larger wakes are having an impact on the lake.
  4. The North Fork of the Catawba river is a concern for pollutants, trash and silt.
  5. The Catawba side of the lake has more trash and silt issues than the Linville side.
  6. Our local governments and businesses that have an impact on the lake should take a higher stake in protecting the lake.
  7. We need to balance our advocacy for the lake with the needs of economic growth in the area. (By the way, we agree and feel like cooperation between ourselves, businesses upstream and local government is the best path forward for all concerned).
Thank you again for taking the survey. If you haven’t taken it, you still can at Hopefully, in the coming months/years, you will see the actions we are taking have an impact on the concerns raised in the survey. In order to be successful, we need all of the help we can get from our volunteer membership base. As we call on you in the future please jump in with us!