The city of Augusta and several community groups have been working over the past two to three years to get several lakes dredged. Sediment, silt and debris are filling the lake, clogging stormwater drains and fouling the shoreline. There are funds set aside in the special-purpose local option sales tax for the dredging, but federal and state processes have been slow and redundant.
Dredging removes much of this material and returns the lakes to their normal condition. In the case of Lake Olmstead, it allows the Augusta Canal Authority to complete the construction of a canoe drop and provides attractions to return to the lake. These events brings money to our area. Many of you remember these.
Several days ago the dredging permit application was published for a final 30-day public comment (redundant and expensive because this was done before).
Dredging is not easy to get done. It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to sample, analyze, characterize and plan to remove material. This money was spent, and nothing unusual was found in sediments. It will get more difficult as increased regulations are implemented by federal agencies.
Please write a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project manager endorsing the dredging. I am including the link to the action (SAS-2006-00598-SP-SEW), here: www.sas.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices/Article/855085/sas-2006-00598-sp-sew/
Look at the attached notice, and write a letter to the Corps. Just endorse it, say why you think it is a good idea, say why the lakes need attention, explain if you are impacted, etc. You can post it to their website. But we must let them know that the benefit to us outweighs any risks of dredging to get it done.
I’m an environmental engineer, and I will tell you that the lakes in our area need attention. Lakes accept stormwater and prevent expensive damage to roads and properties. Outfalls already are clogged, and erosion is occurring on the lake shores because rainwater is entering in places where it is not designed.
The last time many of these lakes were dredged was 1993. This is worth your time. Please write now.