George JohnsonAfter retiring here, I joined LJEA in 2003 to help preserve the cleanliness and beauty of Lake James – the organization’s mission since 1973.  Subsequently, I’ve participated in the long-standing water sampling program, annual lake cleanups, fighting an interbasin transfer (IBT) to keep water from leaving our Catawba River basin (possibly causing lower lake levels in drought), relicensing of Duke Energy, drought rule development, environmentally responsible rezoning of Crescent lake property and relocating a proposed shooting range. I was president of Lake James Environmental Association from 2009 through 2016 and have been fortunate to work with many professional, dedicated volunteers.  Newer programs and projects include: 1) supporting science education in McDowell and Burke county schools to help prepare next generation water stewards, 2) PCB testing of fish tissue from Lake James, and 3) seeking silt sources and mapping silt movement as it fills in the lake. This may be the most important program for the lake’s preservation.