MWCD to review shoreline areas at reservoirs

August 26, 2009

A five-year plan to identify and improve the most severely eroded shorelines around the reservoirs managed by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) should be ready by early next year.




The manmade reservoirs, constructed more than 70 years ago as part of the system of dams and reservoirs for flood reduction and water conservation in the Muskingum River Watershed, have been showing the effects of eroding shorelines for several decades, said Boris E. Slogar, MWCD chief engineer.




“It is obvious to anyone who has boated or even drove past the reservoirs that the shorelines at many locations need to be repaired to protect the critical function by the reservoirs of storing floodwaters,” said Slogar. “Our staff will review all of the MWCD reservoirs, identify the shorelines where work is needed and prioritize them for consideration in upcoming budget years.”




Shoreline work at its reservoirs is a part of the MWCD’s plan for maintenance and rehabilitation in the watershed, with funding from the conservancy district’s annual assessment collection to pay for the work.




Members of the MWCD Board of Directors also have approved the first phase of a plan to repair a large eroded section of shoreline at Pleasant Hill Reservoir in Ashland and Richland counties. During a meeting held Aug. 21, 2009, at Cambridge, Board members authorized spending up to $275,000 for engineering work to perform an investigative analysis and provide potential solutions for the section of southern shoreline that potentially could threaten nearby structures. The steep area of eroded shoreline in the Pine Hill area is the top priority for stabilization work by the MWCD in 2009, according to Slogar.




“This shoreline area has been a concern for several years and our staff has visited with nearby residents and property owners for their input, too,” Slogar said. “Since this could have an impact on nearby structures, we believe it is important to identify methods to fix this shoreline as a priority over the next few months.”




Board members said they will not approve any other shoreline projects through the MWCD maintenance and rehabilitation plan until the entire shoreline priority list is developed, including cost estimates for repairs. Slogar said the shoreline work list should be completed within six months.




The MWCD, a political subdivision of the State of Ohio, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan for flood reduction and water conservation in the Muskingum River Watershed, the state’s largest wholly contained watershed stretching from southern Summit County near Akron to where the Muskingum River empties into the Ohio River at Marietta. A coordinated system of 16 reservoirs and dams was constructed to carry out the plan, and it also provided the added benefit of recreation.



The MWCD is a partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the operation of the system of dams and reservoirs in the watershed, as the USACE operates the dams and the MWCD manages most of the reservoir areas behind the dams. Since their construction, the dams and reservoirs have prevented more than $7 billion worth of property damage from flooding, according to the USACE.




For more information, visit


In other business, the Board:


Heard from Ron Komorowski of S.R. Snodgrass of Steubenville, which conducted the state-required audit of the MWCD’s budget and finances for 2007-08. Komorowski said the audit recently was completed by his firm and that he expects the final report to be issued soon by the Auditor of State’s office.


Approved a resolution of support for creation of a regional water system for the Atwood Lake region to be developed and operated by the independent Atwood Regional Water and Sewer District. A wastewater system presently is operated by Atwood Regional and services facilities owned by the MWCD, including Atwood Lake Park and Atwood Lake Resort and Conference Center.


Heard that Col. Robert D. Peterson has taken command of the Huntington (W.Va.) District of the USACE. Peterson, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (N.Y.), replaces Co. Dana R. Hurst, who recently completed the routine three-year period of command of the district, which oversees dams and structures in several states, including the operation of the dams in the Muskingum River Watershed.



Contact: Darrin Lautenschleger

Public Affairs Administrator

Toll-free: (877) 363-8500

« Back to News