Plan underway to save Sylvan Beach from erosion

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. (WKTV) - Students at Hamilton College have determined why Sylvan Beach has been eroding for the past century and have discovered what can be done to prevent it.

The source of the sand, coming from Fish Creek, was cut off by the development of the Barge Canal in the 1920's, causing the sand to no longer make it to the lake. As a result, the canal has to be dredged every two years.

The recommendation is that the sand be taken from the canal and put on the shoreline with a plan to return the beach to what it once was.

"This was a very well known tourist locality in the entire northeastern U.S.," said Eugene Donack of the Environmental Studies Department at Hamilton College. "There was a railroad line that went here. The reason was, the beach was fabulous, the beach was extensive. It was shallow water. It provided outstanding recreational opportunities for citizens of New York and the northeast in general."

The detailed sand budget survey of the eastern shoreline of Oneida Lake was funded by the DEC.

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