A group working to slow sediment buildup in Lewis & Clark Lake on the Nebraska-South Dakota border is weighing possible remedies.
Sandy Stockholm, executive director of the Missouri Sedimentation Action Coalition, says they want to study placing sediment collectors in the Niobrara River in northeast Nebraska.
“The whole idea is to reduce the amount of sediment that’s coming in to Lewis & Clark Lake, but I’ll be the first one to tell you that sediment collectors are not a solution to what’s happening,” Stockholm says. “It’s a start, is how I would describe it.”
Stockholm says they have some hope of gradually slowing the inflows to the lake.
“These collectors, it’s estimated they could reduce what’s coming from the Niobrara River by up to 60% and then that would reduce what’s coming into Lewis & Clark Lake by potentially 30%,” she says, “so you are buying some time.”
Stockholm says more of an overall plan is needed for the long term.
“We’re also calling for a more comprehensive sediment management plan which would call for the sustainability of Lewis & Clark Lake,” Stockholm says. “So, this two-week study, it will take a closer look at how sediment collector equipment would perform and we’ll go from there and see if a full-scale project is feasible and has support.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates half of the lake’s capacity would be filled by sediment by 2045.
Stockholm says they would like to do the study this spring.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton