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Watershed Plan for Sediment in the North Saluda River and Saluda Lake
Save Our Saluda, in cooperation with sixteen partnering organizations, is developing a watershed plan to address sediment in the North Saluda River and Saluda Lake. Sediment fills in streams, rivers and lakes and carries with it pollutants like bacteria, nutrients, and metals that further degrade water quality.
The watershed plan lays the groundwork for implementation of best management practices (BMPs) and other measures for sediment control to improve and protect the health of the river and lake, which are drinking water sources for local communities.
"The North Saluda River and Saluda Lake are significantly impacted by sediment. Water quality and aquatic habitat are degraded, recreational opportunities are diminished, and downstream drinking water sources are affected by excess sediment, particularly from the North Saluda River. The watershed plan for the North Saluda River and Saluda Lake is a roadmap for restoration and protection efforts to address this problem. We are especially excited about the wonderful partnership of local stakeholders that makes this planning effort possible." - Melanie Ruhlman, President, Save Our Saluda
The plan enables eligibility for acquisition of grant funding for implementation of BMPs, such as agricultural cover crops and vegetated riparian buffers along waterways. The first project site has been identified and is located near Marietta. The initial phase of BMPs has been installed at the site, which is leased for farming.
"Saluda Lake is a valuable resource to the Upstate both as a drinking water supply and a recreational outlet. It is our shared responsibility to preserve this resource for current and future generations. By implementing best management practices to control sediment runoff to the North Saluda River, we are taking a big step in protecting this valuable resource." - Joel Ledbetter, General Manager, Easley Combined Utilities
The watershed planning project is funded through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Nonpoint Source Program with support from the partnership. Partner representatives form the Technical Advisory Stakeholder Committee (TASC) which helps to inform and guide the project.
Saluda Lake was dredged in 2011-2012 at a cost of seven million dollars and is rapidly filling in with sediment again.
Thank you to our partners!
Project Fact Sheet: