The Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2503) consists of the Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee developments in upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina. Within the past five years there has been significant interest in residential development along the Project shoreline of Lake Keowee. Large tracts of property have been purchased for development of residential communities along the entire shoreline of Lake Keowee. Lake Jocassee is a development which is set in the mountains of South Carolina and a small portion within North Carolina. By contrast, Lake Jocassee and the surrounding land are relatively undeveloped and consist primarily of a natural forested shoreline included within The Jocassee Gorges - a state natural area. Because of the difference in development interest/pressure between the two developments within the Keowee-Toxaway Project, Duke Energy has chosen to focus attention in development of a comprehensive Shoreline Management Plan for the Lake Keowee development.
The Lake Keowee Shoreline Management Plan (Keowee SMP) includes an array of data including, but not limited to:
- 2005 digital orthographic aerial photography
- GPS-based geo-videography
- Shoreline classification maps and lake use restrictions
- Shoreline Management Guidelines
- Consultation materials
- Process for challenges to shoreline classifications
- Structure Renovation Process
- Shoreline Stabilization
- Excavation permit
- Lake construction contractor list
- Riparian zone management information (coming soon)
- Shoreline Stabilization Technique Selection Process
- Pumpout Study
- Recreation Use and Needs (RUN) study
- Consultation Process with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians(PDF)
- True Public Marina requirements
The development of the Shoreline Management Plan for Lake Keowee has followed closely and relied heavily upon the lessons-learned by the Licensee in development of Shoreline Management Plans for other Projects including: Catawba-Wateree Shoreline Management Plan (1994, 2001 and 2006), Nantahala Area Shoreline Management Plan (2003), and Lake Greenwood Shoreline Management Plan (2001). The Keowee SMP follows closely the model used for development of the shoreline classifications/criteria/lake use restrictions that are an integral part of the SMP classification maps developed for these other Projects. Likewise, the developments that comprise the Keowee-Toxaway Project and the Catawba-Wateree Project have consistently had similar permitting guidelines to regulate the many construction/stabilization/excavation demands placed upon these lakes. These guidelines and permitting programs have evolved over the past 20 years since implementation for both Projects.
As interest in lake-side living and development continues, along with increased population growth in the vicinity of the Project resulting in increased public recreational demands, there exists the potential for conflicting uses of Project lands and waters. The development of an SMP for Lake Keowee was deemed necessary to more effectively evaluate and regulate uses within the Project. Likewise, as Licensee, Duke Energy has recognized the need to better understand the recreational demands that are placed upon the Project and the Project’s ability to absorb those often competing demands. The need to develop an SMP for Lake Keowee was also determined by the Licensee to be necessary to more effectively understand and evaluate recent increased requests for use of the Project for the construction and operation of private facilities and marina facilities. While Duke Energy Lake Services (DE-LS) continued to evaluate lake use requests for private individual adjoining property owners, DE-LS only continued to process non-Project Use applications for activities within the scope of the Land Use Article (Article 49) standard in the Project license. Currently, DE-LS has approximately seven non-Project Use applications for marina facilities that serve residential developments that range in size from hundreds of feet of shoreline to a maximum of almost 22 miles of Project shoreline. DE-LS anticipates filing these non-Project Use requests with the Commission soon after filing the Keowee SMP. It is anticipated that this comprehensive Shoreline Management Plan for Lake Keowee will provide Commission staff with the necessary information that heretofore was only partially available to adequately evaluate these requests. The Licensee therefore, respectfully requests the Commission accept the Keowee Shoreline Management Plan as an adequate plan to allow continued public and private access to the Project while protecting the Project’s scenic, recreational, cultural and environmental values.