Paint a picture you ask…
This morning the lake is calm. Like a mirror, it reflects the blues of the sky, the grays and browns of the shoreline rocks and trees and the occasional burst of white or pale color from a shoreline cottage. The migrating ducks have arrived this month – the shy Common Mergansers with their distinctive red beak, black heads and back and white sides – a regular sight these past few weeks as they are each year in their small flock. A couple Wood ducks, some Hooded Mergansers, and a few Golden Eyes have also been seen by our 1st Vice President. Buffleheads, and others will soon join them. As spring bursts forward, we’ll find the red buds of the maples, the new green of foliage and the yellow of the marsh marigolds and other wetlands flowers in the watershed. Spring will also bring the metallics of bass boats, neons of kayaks and the sights and sounds of an active lake community.
… One can paint a number of pictures of the various scenarios that can unfold…
Personally, I would like to see our dam owner, Interface Global, comply with the Sutton Conservation Commission’s Order of Conditions AND comply with the Office of Dam Safety’s 1/2 pmf requirement. Flash boards in. Water level up. Dam all set. Fish, frogs, and other creatures all happy and cozy as clams.
Don’t laugh. It is doable. Easily workable. Interface has a legendary reputation for being an internationally “green” company having a founder with an environmental vision. Compliance with local conservation laws and state safety regulations is, at a minimum, the backbone of “corporate environmental responsibility.” Also, it just makes good business sense and good PR. Shouldn’t every business today strive to be a good neighbor and good stewards of the environment?
This Order of Condition is best for the environment here on Manchaug Pond and downstream. As for safety – I had someone who lives elsewhere in town tell me the dam is in bad shape – untrue! Interface has kept that dam well-maintained. They have been a good steward of the dam. What needs addressing is the 1/2 pmf standard. (probable maximum flood) Some tell me its the models and the interpretation used to obtain the 1/2 pmf, but putting that aside a simple Google search brings you to workable solutions other engineers have employed to address the 1/2 pmf safety standard… solutions as simple as throwing rip rap on the earthen side of the dam or putting in a side spillway above the normal peak elevation to handle a once in a lifetime rainfall. Feasible and not offensive to the wetlands resource.
Let’s paint the best case scenario for this central Massachusetts ecosystem. Let’s expect this company, Interface Global/Guilford of Maine/Manchaug Reservoir Corporation who with their predecessors harnessed the waters of the Mumford River for the profit and benefit of the mill business for so many years, let’s expect them to do the right thing, to do the green thing, to do the responsible thing for the Manchaug Pond Dam.
That is the picture they could paint.