Lake Rescue group gets $41,510 for brooks studies
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | March 16,2013
PLYMOUTH — The Lake Rescue Association is taking bigger steps to find out why sediment deposits are still causing problems for three lakes in the upper Black River area.
March 8, the association announced that it received a $41,510 grant from the Department of Environmental Conservation to study causes of large amounts of sediment in Lake Rescue, Echo Lake and Amherst Lake. The source of the problem comes from Money, Buffalo and Patch Brooks, which feed into the river and lakes.
Lake Rescue Association Board member Charlie Robinson said the grant will be used to hire two consultants. George Springston of the Norwich University Geology Department is an expert in causations of landslides and will examine Money Brook. Kristen Underwood of South Mountain Research conducted earlier geomorphic studies of Buffalo and Patch Brooks and will continue her research in these specific areas.
“We’re hiring experts to give us advice for everyone as to what to do to cut down the amount of sediment that gets dropped into the lakes during major storms,” Robinson said. “The lakes took several feet of gunk from Tropical Storm Irene and the flooding of these brooks keep happening over and over again. We’re trying to figure out how to stop it.”
The three brooks saw severe flooding during Tropical Storm Irene, damaged public and private property and negatively impacted water quality and local habitat. Concerns over water quality emerged after beaver dams near Money Brook collapsed, causing high water flows and carrying debris downstream.
Rocks and silt washed up from the river bottoms and were pushed down the river, eventually settling in the lakes. Robinson said a 100-foot-high by 100-foot-long landslide occurred north of Amherst Lake and also caused major damages.
“Money Brook was the worst. It dumped a tremendous amount of gunk into Amherst Lake, Echo Lake and Lake Rescue,” he said.
Buffalo Brook, which flows into the Black River from Camp Plymouth State Park, flooded the park, tore up Scout Camp Road and dredged an area beach. Patch Brook, which runs from Lake Ninevah to the Black River in Tyson, took out sections of Lake Ninevah Road and dumped more sediment into the Black River where it settled in Lake Rescue.
“There was so much sediment build up near the Lake Rescue entrance that it was a major hazard to boats,” Robinson said.
A steering committee of town officials and citizens will monitor and assist in the project. Robinson said they expect the report to be released by mid-2014.
For more information on the grant and the Lake Rescue Association, visit www.lakerescue.org.