Shoreline Management Plan
FERC requires Duke Energy to manage land and water uses within the "project boundary," or land up to the full pond contour of the lakes. This responsibility includes the administration of permitting programs and processes designed to meet regulatory requirements and to protect and enhance scenic, environmental and recreational value, while also protecting Duke Energy's investments on the river.
Duke's Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) and guidelines help carry out this responsibility. The SMP:
- details present and future uses of project lands and waters,
- addresses changing issues in the management of the project, and ensures the delicate balance between protecting the resource, satisfying FERC requirements and the company's obligation to provide electricity,
- includes a study of future recreational needs, and
- features detailed maps of the reservoirs, which, among other datum, indicate where environmentally sensitive and protected shoreline areas exist.
Duke Energy worked with federal, state and local agencies to develop existing plans and future plans are in progress. (In 2001, Duke Power completed an updated SMP for the Project. This plan has been submitted to the FERC for approval.)
Duke Energy is required to provide or arrange for public access areas along the shorelines of its licensed lakes. For many years, the company has operated and maintained these areas, including some with boat launching facilities and fishing piers. Duke Energy has also set aside 1,900 acres of valuable shoreline land plus 1,000 acres of islands on the Catawba-Wateree lakes for future public access development.
Today, Duke Energy provides 55 public access areas along the shorelines of the 11 reservoirs. Ten of the Duke Energy-owned public access areas are leased to local governments and private entities. In 1998, Duke introduced the Access Area Improvement Initiative (AAII), which offered local governments and resource agencies the opportunity to lease, help develop, and manage access areas and islands in their jurisdiction for public recreation. This initiative allows local governments and resource agencies to receive a recreational development opportunity for previously unattainable property at little or no land-related cost.
Duke Energy has also provided or made properties available for parks and public use facilities. Sixteen state and local parks dot Catawba and Wateree Rivers on land that was previously owned by Duke Energy, including Landsford Canal, Latta Plantation Park, Lake James State Park, and Lake Norman State Park.