This fall the Lake George Association will begin a project to stabilize a long section of streambank in the village of Lake George, on West Brook, which was severely eroded during last August’s Tropical Storm Irene. A $10,000 grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program is making the project possible. The project will also restore some of natural sinuosity of the stream to protect the streambanks in that section of the brook. Once complete, the project is expected to keep exposed sediment from further eroding into West Brook, and ultimately into Lake George.
“Because West Brook is one of the major tributaries to Lake George,” said LGA Project Manager Randy Rath, “it is a very high priority for us. In the last 30 plus years, the delta in Lake George at the end of West Brook is estimated to have grown to over 7000 square meters. We would like to limit as much additional growth as possible,” he continued.
Last year, after Tropical Storm Irene, work crews supervised by the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District (WCSWCD) cleared fallen trees and stabilized some to the major problems along West Brook. Due to all the work that needed to be done throughout the watershed, there wasn’t the time or resources to properly stabilize the upper banks of the brook, leaving unprotected soils that could easily wash into the brook from runoff, a statement to the press by the LGA said. Fifteen feet of vegetative buffer protection along the banks were lost. A house 30 feet away is also at risk.
The LGA is expected to work with WCSWCD to create the design and plan for the restoration project. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is allowing the work under a Tropical Storm Irene/Lee emergency permit issued last year. The design is hoped to include shallow step pools, coir logs, rock vanes, rock material, and vegetation.
Coir logs are installed to capture runoff. Coir logs are thick, densely packed tubes that can provide strong structural support along shores, bank, and slopes. A twine net holds mattress coir fibers. Cobbles and boulders from the brook will be used to reshape the channel, creating shallow step pools for habitat as well as toeing in the outer edge of the streambank.
To prevent invasive species from being tracked on to the project site, the excavator used in the project will be power-washed prior to entering the site. All plants, shrubs and trees used in the project will be native to the area and matched to the local vegetation, LGA said. The site will be monitored for invasive species after completion as well. The LGA is expected to seek input from the DEC when creating the fish habitat and installing the rock vanes in the stream.
Photo: A long section of West Brook damaged last year by Tropical Storm Irene.