New Bulkhead, Piers and Plantings Successfully Installed
Jul 10, 2011
The Lake Agawam Conservation Association (LACA) was formed five years ago by a group of concerned citizens who have worked closely with Village officials and Town Trustees to improve the vital Lake Agawam ecosystem. The most visible improvements are the new bulkhead, piers and plantings at the Lake’s southern end, a project approved and funded by the Town Trustees, with whom LACA enjoys a very productive partnership.
As the new plantings grow, the project will certainly beautify that end of the lake, but aesthetics are just part of the story. The old decaying wooden bulkhead and dilapidated parking lot allowed significant surface runoff from Meadow Lane and the parking area to flow into the lake, carrying pollutants with it. The new plantings are actually a rain garden designed to absorb storm runoff and filter it naturally, protecting the sensitive lake environment. The traffic flow into and out of the new parking lot has been improved for traffic calming, which will enhance safety. The two new piers are designed to accommodate those who desire to fish in the lake, where there is a very healthy bass population that helps balance the lake ecology.
The flow of pollutants from storm runoff into the northern end of Lake Agawam is far more acute, and although it is far less obvious, much work has been done to address that issue. The village has installed a series of storm drains and catch basins designed to intercept the runoff from the vast drainage area that flows into the lake, and installed additional aerators in the lake combat oxygen depletion. LACA helped fund an environmental study and comprehensive master plan by the village that identified the sources of water quality degradation in the lake and mapped out solutions. Our partnership with the village has been exceptionally productive. The water quality has already improved measurably.
LACA has partnered with Peconic Land Trust and Stony Brook University for professional guidance and water quality monitoring.
LACA has also published an Owners Manual and distributed Buffer Zone Kits for lakeside property owners detailing environmentally responsible lawn care techniques and the benefits of planting buffer zones along the lake to absorb the harmful effects of commercial fertilizers. The organization also operates a comprehensive web site (www.LakeAgawam.com) that is a valuable resource for action plans for other stressed lakes in the area, such as Mill Pond and Wickapogue Pond.
LACA’s ongoing efforts are raising awareness and building support for citizen action to improve the environment throughout our area.
For more information, contact David Bohnett, President of the Lake Agawam Conservation Association: LakeAgawam@yahoo.com.