Furman Lake is an ideal place for algal growth.  Over 90% of the lake is less than 6 ft deep, so light penetrates through the entire water column.  The shallow water warms quickly in spring, and nutrients running off the landscape stimulate the growth of large blooms of algae.  When these algal mats die, they feed decomposing bacteria and create an unpleasant odor.  Several elements of the Lake Restoration Project should reduce nutrient runoff and decrease algal growth.  First, we have changed the topography of the landscape so that surface water drains to lakeside depressions called rain gardens.  These raingardens are deep depressions, filled with layers of sand and gravel, that hold and filter water after a storm event so that it can percolate slowly into the lake in a more natural way.  In addition, plants that can tolerate drought and flooding are planted to intercept water and nutrients before they reach the lake. We would prefer to grow pretty plants on the shoreline, rather than algae in the water.

One might expect that  the restored shoreline areas would support less algal growth than mown areas where runoff should be higher.  One group of Ecology students measured the amount of algae in mown, regrown, and restored areas to test this hypothesis.  A link to their report is here:

The Distribution of Macroalgae in Furman Lake
Anthony Guida, Jeff Hennessy, Meredith Yingling, and Vanessa Argüello

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