Even before Tropical Storm Irene, members of the Lake Rescue Association (LRA) were concerned about the amount of sediment accumulating in the lake they cherished. They undertook studies to determine sources of excess sediments entering the chain of lakes fed by the Black River: Amherst, Echo, Rescue, and Pauline.
While there are a number of sediment sources coming into the lakes, the largest by far is Money Brook, just two miles north of Amherst Lake. Irene re-activated long dormant landslides in the upper Money Brook watershed. These landslides continue to contribute large amounts of sediment into the brook, then into the Black River and through the chain of lakes. Additional sediment comes from Patch and Buffalo Brooks, two major tributaries to the lakes.
LRA has taken on the challenge of reducing sediment load with three projects taking place this season. The first, planting vegetation on the lower slopes of the landslide along Money Brook, will help to stabilize the lower banks and reduce sediment loss during normal rain events. The second will involve creating gaps in berms built along the lower brook after the storm so that high waters can again run through the wetland and drop sediment in the floodplain rather than carry it to the lakes. And the third project will address stabilizing erosion sites along Patch and Buffalo Brooks.
All of this good work is the result of LRAs concern and their commitment to clean lakes, habitat restoration, and enjoyable and safe recreation. With more projects in line for the coming years we all hope to see crystal clear sailing ahead!