Silver Lake - USGS/GVSU Diagnostic Evaluation Proposal
Silver Lake – USGS/GVSU Diagnostic Evaluation Proposal
We, the undersigned residents, property owners, recreational users, and interested citizens, are in support of the USGS/GVSU proposal for conducting a diagnostic evaluation of the Silver Lake water quality issues.
Silver Lake and the Silver Lake sand dunes are a State, regional and national tourist destination. In the past 50 years the quality of the water has degraded to the point that there is excessive weeds and algae, contamination of fish and possibly other wildlife, health concerns, and in general degradation of water quality negatively impacting the recreational uses of the lake.
To determine an effective course of action to address the problem, the specific causes of the problem need to be evaluated and documented. The Silver Lake Improvement Board has requested assistance from the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Quality, and lake scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute. A comprehensive diagnostic evaluation of Silver Lake is being proposed to determine the cause or causes of the problem. The evaluation would involve intensive field work and monitoring of surface and groundwater to identify and quantify all sources of phosphorus to the lake. Measurements of groundwater and stream inputs, atmospheric deposition on the lake surface, and sediment phosphorus release would be made over a two-year period. The evaluation would provide a basis for decision-making and guide future management decisions for Silver Lake.
The diagnostic evaluation is proposed to be funded through a combination of grants, donations, and special assessment of lake residents. The cost is estimated to be approximately $531,308. A combination of funding sources is being proposed to finance the project. About one-third of the cost ($183,600) would be covered with a federal grant. In addition, the lake board has submitted an application for grant assistance through Michigan’s Water Quality Monitoring Program. Remaining funds for the evaluation would be derived through requests for County and Township funding, private donations and special assessment of the properties within the Silver Lake Special Assessment District.
IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT ONCE THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED; THE APPROPRIATE SOLUTION CAN BE IMPLEMENTED.
Time is of the essence. Delaying action will only add to the problems that currently exist. At the same time implementing solutions without factual documentation can result in wasted investments.
Failure to address this problem will have a negative economic impact on the businesses, tourism, and property values.
We the undersign stand ready to work cooperatively with the government agencies and organizations, as well as other property owners and local businesses to help resolve this issue.
Our Goal: “A Pristine Silver Lake for Future Generations”