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    5 Surprising Ways to Prolong Your Pond's Retirement

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 19, 2020

    Beneficial Buffer - Fountain - Community Pond (16) - c

    Written by Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

    AS SEEN IN National Community Association Institute's (CAI) publication, Common Ground

    The very first fish I remember catching was a bullhead catfish. It was in a small pond in my grandparents’ HOA community that is still there today. Well, sort of. Though the pond had once been deep enough for fishing and stormwater collection, its depth is now best measured in inches rather than feet. The cattails that were once clustered near the outflow are now abundant throughout the pond. Today, the waterbody resembles the nearby wetland more than it does a pond. In the 55 years of its existence, no measures have ever been taken to mitigate against the natural process of succession.

    Lake and pond succession is the natural lifecycle of any waterbody. The very tributaries that supply a waterbody with its water also carry sediment, which over time accumulates and decreases the water depth. Aquatic weeds and nuisance vegetation decompose and create additional organic sediment. And the shallower the pond becomes, the more vegetation it produces—accelerating the aging process.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Pond Management Best Practices, Buffer Management, Stormwater BMPs

    Case Study: Shoreline Restoration at Recreational Lake

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 05, 2020

    Written by Robbin Huffines, Director of Erosion Control Services

    A premier sporting community in the heart of South Carolina Lowcountry offers the perfect backdrop for nature lovers seeking authentic experiences on and near the water. Outdoorsmen and women who reside in this community enjoy front row access to 3,500 acres of huntlands, fresh and saltwater fishing impoundments, and miles of unspoiled marshes.

    The vibrant activity around these wildlife areas includes crabbing and oystering, boating and kayaking, fishing, golfing, horseback riding, and hiking. The area is also home to an array of unique wildlife, including southern fox squirrels, American alligators, chukar, pheasant, deer, river otters, bottlenose dolphin, and many other treasured species.

    Due to the positioning of this time-honored community along the East coast, wind and rain have caused the banks along certain fishing impoundments to erode over time, creating drop offs ranging from 18 in to 4 ft. The community considered a number of solutions, including bulkheads and rip-rap, but had concerns that such options would detract from the natural landscape for which the community is known.

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    Topics: Buffer Management, Erosion Control

    Case Study: Shoreline Restoration With Erosion Control Technology

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 21, 2020

    Industrial businesses can affect communities in very positive ways; however, there are exceptions. Certain business practices can have a negative environmental impact on our communities. This was the case for one Florida Keys community. Due to the actions of a nearby blasting company, 5-7 ft of their lake’s bank eroded away.

    Luckily, SOLitude Lake Management specializes in the restoration of eroded shorelines to prevent water quality issues from reoccurring. There are many benefits to implementing erosion control solutions, including filtering hazardous runoff, repairing potholes in the dirt, and immediately reclaiming lost property. And what’s unique about our strategy is that we utilize a bioengineered living shoreline, which is a healthier and more effective alternative than previous industry standards like cement bags or concrete.

    We applied these tools on our Florida Keys community. The first step in restoring their 1,850 ft shoreline involved removing floating mats of the invasive aquatic weeds growing 3-5 ft out around the entire shoreline. This included torpedograss, cattails, primrose and alligatorweed. Overgrown invasive species often indicate neglect and can inhibit the growth and prosperity of animals and plants in the native ecosystems.

    SOX Erosion Solutions, Before, During and After
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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Buffer Management, Stormwater BMPs

    Know Your Surroundings: A Healthy Lake Begins Outside of the Water

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 21, 2019

    Floating Fountain_SOLitude Lake Management-1

    AS SEEN IN Lawn and Landscape: Written by Paul Conti, Environmental Scientist and Regional Manager

    While all lakes, stormwater ponds, wetlands and fisheries are susceptible to water quality problems without proper management, the cause of these issues doesn’t always originate within the waterbody. Pond maintenance companies know that these complications often begin outside of the water. During precipitation events, water follows the course of gravity, either seeping into the earth to replenish groundwater or running across the ground as surface water runoff. The area of land that directs flowing water to lakes and ponds is called a “watershed.” As water travels across the watershed, it picks up and carries whatever is in its path—which can pose an enormous threat to your waterbody.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Buffer Management

    Bioengineered Living Shorelines: Innovation In Erosion Control

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 27, 2019

    Lakes and stormwater ponds are often the biggest source of beauty in our communities, but without proper management these systems can quickly become eyesores that produce harmful algae and bad odors, lead to damaged and eroded shorelines, and result in displeased community members. Unfortunately, these issues often reach beyond the point of a quick fix by the time a professional lake manager gets called in to help implement a solution. This is regularly the case when we arrive onsite to look at an erosion issue on a lake or pond embankment. Rather than finding a few problematic patches of rock or soil, we discover steep, unstable banks, deep washouts and extensive bottom muck caused by years without an erosion control plan in place.

    Erosion is a natural process caused by wind, rainfall, poor design, cultural impacts like mowing and recreation, or simply an aging aquatic ecosystem. These erosion issues are all exacerbated by human disturbance. Unfortunately, erosion can also negatively affect your lake, stormwater pond, canal or coastline by causing loss of habitat and property value, nutrient loading, reduced storage volume and waterbody depth, and excess runoff. When topsoil is displaced, stormwater pipes and structures can be exposed and damaged. Over time, erosion can lead to the formation of trenches and gullies that pose a serious danger to the public.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Published Articles, Buffer Management

    Managing Golf Course Ponds Without Traditional Herbicides

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 18, 2019

    Golf Course Pond - SOLitude

    AS SEEN IN Golf Course Management: Written by Benjamin Chen, Fisheries Biologist 

    Golf courses are picturesque with their landscaped green fairways and winding paths. While turf management is usually the first order of business for superintendents, lakes, ponds and water features aid in irrigation and help accentuate the beauty of the environment. Without proper management, however, they can cause water quality problems that may become a huge detriment to the golfing experience. In other words, if your greens and your ponds are the same color, we have a lot to talk about.

    Luckily, proactive strategies and new innovative technologies are making lake management without traditional herbicides or algaecides easier than ever—with results that last longer.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Published Articles, Buffer Management

    Utilize Buffer Zones as a Preventative Pond Maintenance Tool

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 04, 2018

    pickerelweed

    Written by Industry Expert Daniel Hood, Wildlife & Fisheries Scientist

    I have always been a fan of Benjamin Franklin’s saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Lake and pond management is a perfect example of this advice; preventing water quality problems at their source is often the most effective measure to help achieve long-term aquatic health. Community managers, golf course superintendents and private landowners interested in becoming more proactive in their maintenance approach may be intimidated by the many environmental variables and aquatic management strategies available to them. However, an easy and effective place to start is by creating and maintaining a shoreline buffer of native vegetation around their waterbody. 

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    Topics: Buffer Management, Stormwater BMPs

    Are Cattails Good or Bad? How Can They Be Successfully Managed?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 15, 2018

    Cattails

    Written by Industry Expert Kara Sliwoski, Aquatic Biologist & Territory Leader 

    Perhaps you’ve heard of or seen cattails before—they’re an iconic plant associated with many types of waterbodies. Interestingly, they have the potential to be both good and bad for a body of water. Maybe you are concerned about cattail growth in your own waterbody and are looking for some answers, cattail facts and recommendations. Maybe you'd like to know how to get rid of cattails in a pond on your golf course or in your community. Regardless, you’ve come to the right place.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Buffer Management

    Erosion & Beneficial Buffers: Like Sands Through the Hourglass

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 10, 2017

    Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

    Pond ErosionIt is often remarked upon how adept beavers are at creating their own aquatic habitat, but in my observation muskrats are nearly their equal in this regard. While beavers endeavor to turn every stream into a pond and every pond into a lake, muskrats seem intent on turning every pond into a marsh. Every muskrat burrow dug into the side of the bank collapses and erodes, washing sediment into the waterbody. The rodents continue stealing land from the shoreline as they dig new burrows into what was previously terra firma and the lake or pond continues to fill with what used to be its own banks.

    This is but one example of shoreline erosion, which is (or at least should be) a concern of anyone with

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Buffer Management

    The Vectors of Invasive Phragmites Spread & Effective Control Methods

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 15, 2017

    phragmites-australis-invasive-wetland-species

    Plants become classified as invasive species when they invade areas outside of their native range, upset the natural community they have invaded and cause considerable damage to either the ecology or economy of an area. Phragmites australis, or common reed, is a plant that most definitely meets all of these criteria. Native to Europe and Asia, invasive Phragmites is an aggressive colonizer of a variety of wetland habitats across the United States. Once established, the nuisance plant’s growth habits allow it to quickly outcompete most native species, ultimately creating a dense monoculture which reduces species richness and overall habitat value. As a result of these invasive characteristics, Phragmites has become a significant threat to freshwater and coastal wetlands across the country.

    Whether managing established Phragmites colonies or endeavoring to prevent its introduction, it is critically important to understand the plant’s methods of reproduction and dispersal. Phragmites is spread through several means, called vectors. The natural reproduction of Phragmites is accomplished in three ways: by seed, rhizome fragmentation and the use of stolons. Seeds can be spread by the wind, wetland birds, surface currents and wave action as well as on recreational and construction vehicles. Expansion through the development of stolons (lateral vegetative growth of the stem), also allows for very rapid spread of the infestation. Rhizomes, the underground root structures of the plant, when fragmented through land disturbance or other natural processes such as erosion, have the potential to become re-rooted in any suitable area they are deposited. ATVs and construction vehicles can also be vectors of rhizomal spread if the root debris is not removed when leaving a Phragmites infested area.

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    Topics: Invasive Species, Buffer Management