Environmental group reports work on restoration of Badin Lake

Published 2:25 pm Monday, January 29, 2024

The subject of algae growing in Badin Lake was addressed by an environmental group and company at the most recent meeting of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners.

David Holton, a retired banker who serves on the board of directors of Yadkin Valley Riverkeeper, made a presentation to commissioners along with the group’s executive director, Edgar Miller, and Carter Henne, president of Sea and Shoreline, an aquatic restoration company based in Winter Garden, Florida.

Holton said his group, along with Sea and Shoreline, has a “very comprehensive plan” to remove black mat algae (lyngbya wollei) in Badin Lake.

Henne said his environmental restoration company uses “nature-based solutions” to turn “dirty water” into “clean water.” His company, he said, hires local workers, which he said was his “biggest enjoyment,” to give people jobs in ecotourism.

Henne showed an example of how his company uses ultrasound frequencies to disrupt algae cells without disturbing fish or insects in the lake. He said the technology has been used by the shipping industry for 20 years and wastewater systems in the last 10 years.

Henne said it was a “long-term solution,” and would improve water quality “to be able to get that self sustaining grassland meadow established. That is your perpetual long-tier solution.”

Miller said the black algae issue came to the attention of Yadkin Valley Riverkeeper in 2018.

“It’s a great concern when you’re dealing with recreational resources like the Yadkin Pee Dee lakes,” Miller said.

Commissioner Bill Lawhon, who lives on Lake Tillery, asked about algae in that lake. Henne said there was a variety of algae in it, some good and some not.

Commissioner Patty Crump asked about whether the ultrasound treatment was a “one and done” or if it has to be treated “over and over.”

Henne said it would not be a “one and done.”

“Our goal is to work in areas that it’s currently growing…when we go into projects, we want to have a good relationship and see a long-term result. We typically try as hard to not get ourselves into environmental boondoggles. We want to have a start date and finish date where you’re skipping maybe a couple of days, months or years off, but have a finite end goal in sight.”

Miller said the ultrasound treatment in a lake the size of Badin “is still largely unproven,” but added he was impressed with “the restoration process with the native aquatic plants…I think it’s a more sustainable solution.”

Holton said one problem was algae was still “coming over the dam into Tuckertown.”

When asked by Commissioner Trent Hatley if this was a permanent solution, Miller said it was not, adding there may not be enough state funding to “address all these different problems across the state.

“We are hopeful the precedent is there, that the state will recognize this as a problem and put some money into it,” Miller said.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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