USACE to host open house to share info on Draft Blue Marsh Lake Master Plan

USACE Philadelphia District
Published Feb. 15, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will host an open house on Feb. 29, 2024, to share details on a draft revision of the Blue Marsh Lake Master Plan. The open house will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Berks County Agricultural Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Leesport, PA 19533.

The public open house will cover the proposed changes to the current Blue Marsh Lake Master Plan. Team members will share instructions on how to submit comments and provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide feedback. A 30-day public comment period will begin on February 29th, 2024, and end on March 30th, 2024.

Master Plan Overview
The Master Plan is defined as the strategic land use management document that guides the comprehensive management and development of all recreational, natural, and cultural resources throughout the life of the water resource development project. It defines "how" USACE will manage the resources for public use and conservation.

The current Blue Marsh Lake Master Plan, last approved in 1975, needs revision to address changes in regional land use, population, outdoor recreation trends, and the USACE management policy. Key topics to be discussed in the revised Master Plan include revised land use classifications, new natural and recreational resource management objectives, recreation facility needs, and special issues such as invasive species management and threatened and endangered species habitat.

The Master Plan revision WILL NOT address the technical and operational aspects of the lake related to flood risk management or the water conservation missions of the project.

Submitting Comments & Reviewing Draft Plan:
Comments must be submitted in writing at the open house or digitally via the comment form on the Master Plan Revision webpage or emailed to

The webpage will also have digital copies of the draft Master Plan, Environmental Assessment and associated documents, a comment form with instructions, and a downloadable presentation covering the topics highlighted in the open house. These documents will be available for download starting on February 29th, 2024.

About Blue Marsh Lake
Blue Marsh Lake is located northwest of Reading in Berks County, Pennsylvania. This is a multi-purpose project built and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District. The dam was authorized by Congress for flood control, water supply, water quality and recreation. Construction began in 1974 and was completed in 1979. The dam is located on the Tulpehocken Creek, and the project's water control practices benefit downstream communities. Blue Marsh Lake provides flood risk management benefits primarily for Reading, Birdsboro and Pottstown areas. Water supply and water quality management practices benefit areas further downstream, including Philadelphia.

While the main purpose of Blue Marsh was to provide flood control to part of the Schuylkill River Valley, over the years the lake has become a recreational hotspot. With more than 36 miles of trails, thousands of acres of land, picnic areas, a small beach and boat launches the lake can accommodate all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. Blue Marsh Lake receives approximately 900,000 visitors per year.

Scott Sunderland

Release no. 24-003