AVON-BY-THE-SEA — The borough of Avon has received a $490,768 grant from the State Department of Environmental Protection’s [DEP] grant program to complete Phase Two of the Living Shoreline Project for Sylvan Lake.
The borough has also received a grant of $141,864 from the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration for the design and engineering of the dredging of the lake.
Mayor Ed Bonanno stated that in the past, he and the commissioners have considered dredging the lake but knew it would cost the town too much money. Through these two grants, the borough is finally able to go ahead with the project.
The dredging will remove several feet of silt from the west end of the lake, which is at points less than a foot deep, according to Mayor Bonanno. The silt will be dredged out of the lake and put into Geo Tubes, a sandbag-like container for collecting the material.
He further explained that the American Littoral Society [ALS] applied for the grant for the project and is working with Marty McHugh of SumCo, a semiconductor company, and the borough’s engineering department to hire a dredging company.
The ALS “promotes the study and conservation of marine life and habitat, protects the coast from harm, and empowers others to do the same,” according to its website.
Dredging is only one part of Phase Two of the Living Shoreline Project, which is an ongoing project to keep Sylvan Lake clean and healthy. The project will also “improve water quality and reduce the impact of storm water reaching water bodies like Sylvan Lake,” according to Mayor Bonanno. He said that in the past, storms have pushed water and other material into the lake.
“There has been some contaminated material on the west side of the lake…which has affected the health on that portion of the lake,” said Mayor Bonanno.
Phase Two calls for the growing of vegetation to act as a buffer for the storm water. The vegetation will include wetland shrubbery, indigenous plants, and flowers along the Avon side of the lake. The flowers will attract butterflies, which will create a “very nice habitat,” according to the mayor.
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