Cedar Lake recreational users may have noticed some improvements along with construction activities while on the lake in 2016. While some of the lake’s shore is outlined with scenic bluffs and rocky outcroppings, the majority of the shoreline is actually comprised of clay-based soils which, over time, have been slowly eroding. Watershed and shoreline erosion hinders water quality, as eroded soil particles are carried off to the water in the lake. When those soil particles ultimately settle to the bottom, the lake’s holding capacity is reduced, as well.
Cedar Lake is a 1,750 acre reservoir built in the early 1970s as a water source for the City of Carbondale and has become a major contributor to the quality of life in the greater Carbondale region. The City is committed to protecting and improving the water quality, reducing erosion, improving the lake’s wildlife/fishery habitat, and enhancing the overall recreational usability of the lake.
To this end, the City has invested in projects which help to stabilize soils within the lake’s watershed and reduce erosion along the lake shore. With funding support from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act, shoreline stabilization and gulley stabilization projects were implemented 2006 and 2010. This work was focused on the City’s own shoreline and watershed around the northern half of the lake.
To further protect the lake, in 2015 City Council authorized staff to again enter into a partnership with the IEPA, to access more Section 319(h) of the Federal Clean Water Act funding, and this time, with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. The purpose of this partnership was to address additional shoreline and watershed erosion issues on both the City’s property on the north and that of the Shawnee National Forest (managed by the USDA Forest Service) on the south half of the lake.
That purpose was realized earlier in 2016, as an additional 14,049 feet of eroded public shoreline were stabilized and 8,100 feet of eroded gullies were stabilized by implementing best management practices (BMPs) erosion abatement techniques including the construction of several catch basins within Cedar Lake’s watershed on the Shawnee National Forest. A total of 21,217 tons of stone rip rap was applied to accomplish the shoreline and gulley stabilization project. Dump trucks, track hoes, barges, and loaders were used to excavate areas, install geo-textile fabric, deposit stone rip rap and restore affected areas. Mott Excavating of Vienna was awarded the contract for the shoreline work contract. E.T. Simonds of Carbondale was awarded the gulley restoration work contract. With funding from all sources, the total project cost is estimated at $1,456,525.00.
The recent (and more noticeable) endeavor combined with earlier erosion control measures bring the totals to more than 25,000 feet of eroded shoreline length which have been stabilized and eroded gullies which have been abated to more than 10,000 feet in length. By slowing the force of moving water, reducing the effects of erosion and catching sediments before they enter the lake, these projects expand the protection of Cedar Lake while protecting and improving overall water quality.
For more information about this project or other information regarding Cedar Lake, contact John Wallace, the Cedar Lake Supervisor at 618/549-8441 or email@example.com