I recently attended two public meetings about the shorefront property the town of China wants to buy with our money, and would like to offer a simpler solution to the problem.

China already owns what is arguably the nicest beach in town: the shorefront at the head of the lake where The Landing is located. There’s only one problem: It’s under about 8 feet of water. The most recent map of our lake shows the maximum depth at 93 feet and surface area at 3,963 acres. Older maps show a maximum depth of 85 feet and a maximum surface area of 3,845 acres.

By setting the mandatory water level unnaturally high, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is slowly but surely killing China Lake. As a result of the high water, miles of shoreline continue to erode, the surrounding wetlands are permanently flooded and our lake is green.

Lowering the water level to its natural state would bring back the beach at the head of the lake, eliminating the “need” to spend $575,000 (at least) of taxpayer money.

It also would reduce shoreline erosion, and the wetlands would return to their natural state.

According to the annual report, China allocates $30,000 per year for lake restoration. A walk down to the water’s edge will tell you that approach clearly isn’t working.

It’s time for the leadership of China to stand up to the DEP and fight for natural water levels on China Lake. In doing so, we will have the public beach that many people want, and in time, I believe water quality will improve. And it won’t cost us $575,000 to get it.

John Henninges


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