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LSU begins lake restoration project

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BATON ROUGE - White buoys bobbing across one of the LSU Lakes indicate the presence of a tree stump—ever present in the former cypress swamp lands.

“It is probably filled with tree stumps and we know that approximately 25 to 30 years ago, they tried to take out a lot of tree stumps and it was not entirely successful, so we know there are plenty more down there,” said Rob Stuart with the LSU Foundation.

Before dredging can begin, they’ll all have to come out.

On Monday, survey crews from Fenstermaker launched from Milford Wampold park to begin this process, marking stumps and measuring the depth of the lake.

“The first thing we have to do is get accurately what the depth of the lakes really are. We know that they’re low, but really understand that and probably equally as important, understand where the stumps are,” said Stuart.

It’s the first step in the $50 million renovation project that included dredging and makeovers on all six lakes, but since COVID, funding has dwindled.

“Before COVID hit, we were hoping to get more capital outlay dollars at once, now we’ve had to come back and do it in two phases, so that will allow us to design the dredging on all six of the lakes, but we will only be able to do the construction on four of the six, so we won’t be able to do university and crest.”

The plans will be there, in place, when the funding does come down, and the process will continue regardless.

“The first of April, geo-engineers will be out and they’ll be looking at the soil conditions under the water because a lot of that will depend on, the dredging we really have to understand what the soil condition is like.”

Dredging is supposed to begin by the end of the year.

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