More than a year after being put into service, “Brutus,” a 57-ton dredge, has helped increase the amount of sediment removed from Grand Lake St. Marys, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The department removed a record 289,000 cubic yards from the lake last year.
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“Utilizing Brutus has greatly improved our efforts to remove sediment from Grand Lake St. Marys,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “Through the dredging operations and nutrient management plans, we continue our commitment to improve and protect the health of one of Ohio’s finest lakes.”
ODNR has employed a suction dredge program at Grand Lake St. Marys for approximately 60 years, and “Brutus” replaced the 44-year-old “St. Marys” dredge last year. In 2012, “Brutus” and two other dredges named “Eagle” and “Pump-a-Little” pumped 289,000 cubic yards of nutrient-rich sediment from the lake, besting a goal of 270,000. “Brutus” alone pumped more than 123,000 cubic yards of sediment last season.
Ohio State Parks removed an average of 65,000 cubic yards of sediment annually from 2007-2010. The division hopes to remove more than 300,000 cubic yards of sediment in the 2013 dredge season, which began April 8. That number equals approximately 20,000 dump truck loads of sediment.
Ohio State Parks is also building several new dredge material relocation areas to hold the removed sediment. One area includes a new under-construction wetland at Prairie Creek that will double as a sediment deposit point and a filter for water runoff flowing into Grand Lake St. Marys.
The ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources is also working with producers in the region to implement nutrient management plans, which will limit the release of new nutrients into Grand Lake St. Marys.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.