The Boone Lake Association has always worked closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority as it carries out its mission to keep Boone Lake clean.
But the ties that bind the BLA and TVA together grew even tighter last Monday morning when the TVA donated a boat to the BLA to help bolster the organization’s ongoing cleanup efforts. The 24-foot War Eagle aluminum boat, which is equipped with a 4-stroke Yamaha 150 engine will allow the BLA’s full-time cleanup crew to work more efficiently.
“This boat represents a major step forward to us in our relationship with the TVA,” said Val Kosmider, president of the Boone Lake Association. “We’ve had an ongoing relationship with them for many years. We work very closely with them, but this takes it to a whole new level.”
The donation comes as the TVA and the BLA start looking ahead toward the completion of the Boone Dam Project, which is on track to wrap up during the summer of 2022. The TVA is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar project to remove vegetation that has been growing on the exposed lakebed while water levels have been down, and TVA senior vice-president Bob Deacy said the donation of the surplus boat will help the BLA better complete its mission when the water returns to full pool.
“The Boone Lake Association’s mission of environmental stewardship ties directly to TVA’s mission of serving the people of the Tennessee Valley and protecting our environment,” Deacy said. “TVA has supported Boone Lake Association in many ways through the years, not only through contributions but through boots on the ground labor and supplies during the annual lake cleanup day. This year we are delighted to be able to provide this boat for use in those cleanup efforts.”
When the water returns to its normal levels in 2022, Kosmider said he anticipates the rising water will collect a large amount of refuse and trash that has been accumulating on the exposed lakebed. The BLA is preparing to purchase a pair of trash skimmers to address that issue, and the boat donated last week will play a key role in moving people into position to better attack problems as they arise.
“(The trash skimmers) are mechanized devises that take trash and pull it out of the lake into a reserve holding tank on the boat, and then bring it onshore for us,” Kosmider said. “One of the things that this boat will do is help that crew get to the situations more quickly and carry a lot of trash back to the dumpsters.”