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Moriah to complete Bulwagga Bay project

Supervisor: There’s no choice

Kaylee Belden swims at Bulwagga Bay in the town of Moriah. Work to save the Bulwagga Bay shoreline will be completed in 2013.

Kaylee Belden swims at Bulwagga Bay in the town of Moriah. Work to save the Bulwagga Bay shoreline will be completed in 2013. Photo by Nancy Frasier.

— Work to save the Bulwagga Bay shoreline will be completed in 2013.

“It has to be done,” Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. “The town board can’t sit back and let that shoreline erode. It’s a black and white issue; there’s no gray area. It has to be done.”

The town-owned beach and campsite on Lake Champlain is being damaged by Lake Champlain erosion. Without action the public beach and 175-site campground will be lost.

“We’re losing 6 to 10 feet of beach a year,” Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. “We’re losing the beach; we’re losing the campground.”

The shoreline has moved back 25 to 40 feet since 1995, according to the Adirondack Park Agency.

Realizing the problem two years ago, local leaders secured permits from the Adirondack Park Agency, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build three revetments made of half-ton rocks reaching into Lake Champlain to combat the erosion. The revetments are 4,080, 4,110 and 4,670 square feet in size, and the beach end of each will be enveloped in landscaped trees and shrubs.

Those permits expire at the end of 2013, so the project must be completed next year.

Preliminary engineering has been completed for the project and the town will soon seek bids for the final engineering plans.

The Bulwagga Bay erosion project is expected to cost $300-500,000.

The town has applied for a $500,000 Regional Economic Development Grant from the state to cover the cost of the project. To date, there has been no movement on the grant.

“We’re on the clock to complete this project,” Scozzafava said. “Those permits expire next year and we have to finish the work.”

If the grant application is not approved soon, Moriah officials will have to borrow the money for the Bulwagga Bay project.

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