Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Ribbon of Limestone (From the Sky)

Newly placed limestone reinforces the main exterior dike (center) protecting the main West Marsh (left)
from the open bay (right) 
To close the loop on our most recent improvement project -- and to provide another perspective on the impact of historically high water on Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay -- I decided to get the drone in the air. [Call me a fair-weather pilot, but conditions were about perfect yesterday for a late morning flight in March!]

The image above does a nice job depicting the breadth of our recent stone work -- a little over 1,200 linear feet in all. And if you click on the image to enlarge you can also see how sustained high water and freeze/thaw cycles on the bay accelerated the erosion of the "barrier island" that (until very recently) seemed to provide real protection for the exterior dike. Ice came off the main bay just a few days ago -- probably once and for all for this season -- but the damage to the trees and shrubs that have been growing on the outer fringes for more than 25 years had already been done. Thank goodness we got that stone in place. The next few months of high water, which typically peak in early summer, are going to be interesting . . .

Modest waves are still relentless against what's left of our barrier island; the day the ice finally receded,
we could see that the damage had been done

Upturned root masses will not last long against high water and spring wave action; this portion of the barrier island would
have been two to three feet out of the water as recently as 2015 -- water levels are cyclical (and at times destructive)
on Lake Erie and the rest of the Great Lakes