This time of year, Lake George Association Project Manager Randy Rath spends much of his time in the field, directing and managing Lake-Saving Projects on behalf of the LGA and its members.
Lake-Saving Projects are those that the LGA performs to make positive changes on properties to protect the Lake’s water quality, and to give municipalities and property owners the knowledge and tools they need to make those changes.
Among other projects that Rath has managed and worked on this fall was the repair of a badly eroded stormwater corridor in Hague near Forest Bay Road and state Route 9N. The completion of the project means that erosion of the hillside and the stormwater channel will cease, and no longer will the stormwater carry dirt, nutrients and pollutants into the Lake.
As you may know, untreated stormwater (like what was flowing off the hillside east of Route 9N down the channel) is by far the greatest human contributor to water quality decline in Lake George. The Lake George Association works with partners and on its own throughout the watershed to stop stormwater from flowing into the Lake where possible, and to re-direct it into infrastructure that allows it to flow into the ground and filter naturally.
In Hague, the LGA and our partners repaired and stabilized about 400 feet of channel.
The stormwater had eaten away so much of the banks that tree roots were exposed, and trees and other debris (that hadn’t yet made it to the Lake) littered the bed for much of that distance.
After clearing the debris from the channel, the team got to work:
- First, seed was placed in the channel in order to stabilize the soils where possible.
- Next, the team placed rolls of permanent turf reinforcement mats in the channel (at widths of 6 ½ feet and lengths of 55 feet) that were “stapled” into the ground. The material provides permanent reinforcement to protect the plants and the soils from being swept away in a rainstorm, deluge or spring melt. The material is more economical than riprap or any other armored material and is ideal for high-flow channels.
- Finally, once the mats were in place, the team installed filter “socks” across the channel at regular intervals. The filter socks are filled with compost, allowing water to run through the sock but stopping sediment from flowing down into the Lake. Additionally, the filter socks act as check dams, slowing down the water flow in the channel, stabilizing the banks and channel bottom and eliminating, or at least drastically reducing, any material from getting into the Lake.
The team effort included Alex Novick from the Lake George Land Conservancy; Jim Lieberum, Dean Moore and Nick Rowell from the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District; and residents Ken Engler, Wayne Gunther, and John Lipori. Local residents contributed money to help pay for the project, with the rest coming from the Lake George Association and was installed with in-kind labor from the organizational personnel.
The Lake George Association protects Lake George water every day. Made possible by our members and donors, the LGA’s actions support water quality protection, scientific monitoring, education and lake friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga. All of the Lake George Association’s actions focus on protecting Lake George now and creating long-term lake sustainability.