MWCD identifies nearly 500 shoreline rehabilitation projects at the lakes

December 3, 2010

Nearly 500 individual sites in need of varying amounts of shoreline improvements have been identified at the reservoirs managed by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD).


A team of MWCD engineering staff members has been using some innovative mapping and aerial photographic technology to review the 300 total miles of shoreline at the reservoirs and reports that improvements are needed at an estimated 480 locations. The work would cover about 24 miles worth of shoreline at the 10 MWCD lakes.


“The reservoirs in the system of dams and reservoirs in the Muskingum River Watershed are now more than 70 years old and anyone who has taken a boat ride at a lake or views the shorelines from the road can see the effects of eroding shorelines,” said Boris E. Slogar, MWCD chief engineer. “The MWCD has talked for many years about the need to improve its shorelines to protect the benefits of flood-risk management and water conservation that the reservoirs provide in the watershed.

”This technology enables our staff and the public to recognize the urgency to prepare a prioritization plan and begin this important work of stabilizing the shoreline areas.”


The work is scheduled to begin in upcoming weeks as a total of 23 shoreline stabilization projects at four reservoirs estimated to cost around $1.5 million will be handled between December 2010 and April 2011, Slogar said.


Work is scheduled at the following reservoirs this winter:


            Atwood Reservoir – 9 projects

            Charles Mill Reservoir – 4 projects

            Seneca Reservoir – 7 projects

            Tappan Reservoir – 2 projects


Work already under way at Pleasant Hill Reservoir will continue, he said.


“A number of these project sites are located near roads or other important sites that eventually could threaten the continued safe access of the highways, bridges or other structures,” Slogar said. “The site at Pleasant Hill Reservoir, which we identified as the highest priority of all of the MWCD reservoirs last year, threatens several homes if it is not addressed.”


The work will be paid for through the MWCD’s funds collected from property owners in the Muskingum River Watershed who receive identified benefits from the Amendment to the Official Plan of the MWCD that calls for maintenance and rehabilitation in the system of flood-reduction and water conservation reservoirs and dams in the region.


Work is expected to be identified, prioritized and handled yearly as part of the ongoing maintenance needs in the reservoirs, which originally were constructed in the 1930s and have been suffering from the effects of normal erosion for many years.


Much of the information used in the MWCD’s review of the eroded shorelines came through updated aerial imagery that was produced earlier this year.


“This imagery assisted our staff in reviewing all aspects of these sites, and it was completed in a timely manner to provide us with up-to-date data for planning purposes,” Slogar said.


A total cost estimate for all of the 480 identified sites has not been developed, he said.


The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Basin, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $8 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government. The reservoirs are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).


For more information about the MWCD, visit


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