I am writing this email in hopes of obtaining some information about the dramatic drop in water level at Sheldrake reservoir. In my 15 years as a resident, I cannot recall ever seeing so much water released from the lake. Aside from the aesthetic detriment, I can only image the effect on the fish and wildlife this body of water supports.
Are you aware of what’s happening there? Is there a rational, environmental reason for this drop? I would greatly appreciate any information you might have.
New Rochelle, NY
Editor’s Note: Mr. Carpenter isn’t the only one wondering where the water went. So many residents called or emailed Mamaroneck Town, that Mamaroneck Town Administrator Steve Altieri issued the following letter:
|July 2, 2010
Dear Sheldrake Lake Resident:
A number of residents living around the lake have contacted the Town about the extremely low water level. Why has this happened? Over the last year the Town, working in cooperation with the County of Westchester, has been planning for the dredging and restoration of the Gardens Lake which is part of the Sheldrake River Watershed. The purpose of the project is to improve the water quality in the lake and to develop the lake as a flood control basin to protect residents and property downstream of the Gardens Lake in the Village and Town of Mamaroneck. The Gardens Lake was last dredged in 1986.
In order to dredge the Gardens Lake we must drain virtually all of the water in the Gardens Lake to allow the dredging equipment to access the lake bottom. To divert the Sheldrake River waters from entering the Gardens Lake the level of the Sheldrake Lake has been lowered considerably to hold back the river water during the dredging process.
The contractor is expected to begin work the week of July 5, 2010, and the dredging component will be completed in sixty (60) days. During this period you may see the water level of the Sheldrake Lake rise depending upon the amount of rainfall this summer.
The Town regrets any inconvenience the lowering of the Sheldrake Lake has caused. Unfortunately, the summer is the most favorable season to dredge the Gardens Lake when precipitation levels are generally lower.
Very truly yours,
Stephen V. Altieri