July 23, 2013

Moriah moves to protect Bulwagga Bay shoreline

PORT HENRY — The eroding shoreline at the Moriah Town Beach and Bulwagga Bay Town Campground will finally be protected with wave-blocking revetments.

The Moriah Town Council recently accepted the $29,500 low bid of AES Engineering of Plattsburgh to prepare an engineering plan for the work.

The design for the revetments — a facing or barrier used to support an embankment — was approved by the Adirondack Park Agency, State Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers two years ago.


Moriah Town Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said the entire shoreline on Bulwagga Bay will erode away into Lake Champlain if something isn’t done.

“We can’t sit back and let that shoreline erode. We’ve lost shoreline and campsites. It’s only getting worse.”

Once the engineering plans are complete, the town will go to bid for construction of the revetments, the supervisor said.

Work is expected to begin this fall with completion by the end of the year.


The town got a $250,000 grant from the North Country Regional Economic Development Council that will cover about two-thirds of the cost.

It is seeking additional grants for the remainder of the job, Scozzafava said, and the town can do some work as in-kind services.

In 2011, the town hired planner Brandy Saxton of PlaceSense in Port Henry; Ron Bourne, a marine and waterfront engineer; and Peter Loyola’s CLA Site firm to analyze the shoreline and design a stabilization solution.

Loyola said the plan they developed was the minimum relief needed to stabilize the 2,000 feet of shoreline affected by severe erosion.


The trio of stone-faced revetments would use flat pieces of half-ton blast stone, about 4,000 square feet each in size.

The revetments, which would be around a foot above the natural grade, would extend like curved fingers into the lake.


Erosion has been a problem at the beach and campground since the late 1980s.

Bulwagga Bay Town Campground generated $302,000 in revenue for the town in 2012, Scozzafava said.

He said 160 of the 175 sites have been leased for this season.

“We’ve lost about 10 campsites to erosion so far. That’s $20,000 a year in lost revenue for the town. We can’t afford to lose any more.”

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