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Editorial: July 4 and the dam
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We hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day.

We’re betting a lot of you went to Lake Wateree to celebrate not only our country’s 243rd birthday, but the lake’s 100th birthday, too. While the actual anniversary of the dam’s completion won’t come around until October, the double birthdays made this year’s July 4th celebration on the lake doubly special. In fact, the Lake Wateree Association (LWA) decided to mark the occasion by moving the fireworks display down to the dam.

Conceived by James Buchanon Duke and completed in 1919, the Wateree Hydro Station created the 13,250-acre -- or 19-square-mile -- lake managed by Duke Energy. It has 242 miles of shoreline, including a bird refuge, plus Lake Wateree State Park and Shaw Air Force Base Recreation Center. Kershaw County shares enjoyment of the lake with Fairfield and Lancaster counties.

It is one of the state’s oldest manmade lakes. In addition to being an energy source and recreation destination, Lake Wateree is also home to various fish, deer, fox, squirrel, turtle, dove, turkey, alligator, duck, hawk, eagle, egret, heron and osprey.

So, again, we hope everyone who went up to the lake for the 4th enjoyed themselves, reveling in America’s birthday, but also celebrating the 100th year of a man-made natural resource.

That may sound like a paradox, but it’s something that humans made that has benefited both people and wildlife for a century. That’s definitely something to celebrate!