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Dear Friends of Crockery Lake

Dear Friends of Crockery Lake,

In 1995, a report on a 3-year study was done on Crockery Lake by Fredrick B. Bevis and Lynn C. Bottje in cooperation with Applied Ecology Group. (This study can be found on the website) At that time, the clarity of the water was less than 6 feet. The dissolved oxygen was depleted at about 15 feet. Almost 30 years later, 2023, the clarity of the lake is between 2-3 feet in  May, June, and July and 4-5 feet in August and September. Dissolved oxygen was depleted at 10 feet for most of the summer. This means our lake is in trouble. We continue to have gross algae throughout the summer, beginning earlier and occurring more frequently than ever before. The chemical treatments that have been used for the algae are no longer giving long term effect indicating that the algae in our lake is becoming resistant to the chemical treatments available.

In the past 30 years innovative advances have been developed to address the issues we are facing in Crockery Lake. We continue to try to remedy the internal loading which would be from septic tanks, but we will constantly have external loading from agricultural and environmental runoff. This is why we do not want fertilizers used close to the lake water and why we do not want leaves and mowed grass going into the lake. This will not just be a one year commitment. This will be ongoing but less costly after the first year because there will always be environmental/agricultural runoff. The quality of the lake water lies in the sediment on the bottom and deepest parts of the lake which is not easy to remediate.

The CLA Board of Directors has been researching different possibilities for lake remediation. The research is mind boggling. So many options available but they are costly. We as a board have learned so much but we also are not knowledgeable enough to make a huge decision on which process to choose. We have spoken with EGLE (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy) about possible treatments, permits, and grants, etc. We have been working with our watershed (LGROW), Ottawa Conservation District, Ottawa County, and EGLE trying to find out about possible grant money to help with testing and/or remediation. 

At this point the CLA Board of Directors has voted to contract with Restorative Lake Sciences and Dr. Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones to perform all the needed tests, compile the reports, research the best remediation process and companies, make recommendations to the CLA board, procure all permits from EGLE, and oversee and provide all testing and reports required by EGLE. Each year for the next 5 years this will cost $15,000. Once we decide on and begin treatment, monitoring is required by EGLE using the same tests needed for permitting.

The CLA board has a lake testing fund mostly funded mostly by the CLA board of directors. Currently,  there is $6,500 in this fund. The first testing for this year will be done on May 29, 2024. This will cost $5,000. We are working aggressively to try to get money from any grants available and from Ottawa County. All testing needs to be completed in one calendar year to satisfy EGLE. We did the first test last September, 2023. If we don’t get it all done and paid for by this September, we will have to restart the testing process and it will be another year before we can begin to fix our lake. 

Some of the testing could be paid for from our current lake treatment tax assessment. We are hoping to receive donations and have some fun fundraisers to help with the expense if we do not receive any grant money. CLA Board members are petitioning Ottawa County Finance Committee and the Board of Commissioners for involvement and monetary help.

The CLA board is hoping you will support cleaning up Crockery Lake in whatever way you can: donations, septic tank care, attending board meetings, and working with us to get this lake cleaned up and healthy for swimming, boating, and fishing. 

If you would like to donate towards this you can donate by sending a check payable to Crockery Lake Association and sent to Greg Slater, treasurer, 2500 Crockery Shores Rd, Casnovia, MI 49318.

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