Excessive erosion and sedimentation have plagued the D'Olive Watershed since the 1970s, and ongoing urban development continues to intensify problems in each of the Watershed's three principal drainage areas in the watershed. Lake Forest Lake, which drains 91% of the seven-square mile watershed, receives 7,800 tons of sediment per year - roughly 650 dump truck loads. This sediment not only impacts the lake, but some portion will pass through the lake and be deposited in D'Olive Bay and the Mobile Bay estuary.
Watershed Management Plan Goals
The four primary objectives that guided the development of the conceptual management measures addressed in the WMP were:
- Reduce upstream sediment inputs into the Lake Forest Lake/D'Olive/Tiawasee system.
- Reduce ongoing sediment loads into D'Olive Bay and the Mobile Bay estuary.
- Remediate and restore past effects of these sediment loads, including lake restoration.
- Mitigate future impacts of development in the watersheds, where feasible.
Lake Forest Lake
Lake Forest Lake and its tributaries, D’Olive Creek and Tiawassee Creek, are valuable assets to our community. They provide aesthetic and recreational benefits to Lake Foresters and the surrounding community, are the home to many forms of life, and the lake plays an important ecological function in keeping sediment out of D’Olive Bay. These water bodies and the life they support are resources worth preserving and enhancing.
Over the years, Lake Forest Lake has performed very well in its role of sediment trapping. So well in fact that its function defines its fate: eventually filling completely with sediment. This is an outcome that is in no one’s best interest. With careful planning and forethought though, the useful life of the lake can be extended for the mutual benefit of Lake Foresters and its wetland life.
The planning involved with preserving and restoring the lake is a community effort. The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, with funding provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, and assistance from the Lake Forest Property Owners Association, has assembled a team to study and identify goals, expectations, and concepts for preserving and restoring Lake Forest Lake.
For more information please contact:
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
118 N. Royal St. Suite 601
Mobile, AL 36602