Making Walton Lake cleaner

Monroe. Looking to reduce global warming on a local level, volunteers last weekend removed nearly two tons of harmful contaminants and rubbage from the lake.

| 29 Sep 2021 | 01:47

More than five months after Earth Day, April 22, a grass roots group of residents from Osseo Park in Monroe, in conjunction with the Friends of Walton Lake as well as concerned citizen volunteers, did not lost sight of the efforts to reduce global warming on a microcosm level.

Commencing Sept. 24, the group organized a concerted effort with the Village of Chester and the Towns of Chester and Monroe to rid the lake of harmful contaminants and rubbage.

More than a score of helpers cumulated more than 200 volunteer hours to remove litter and debris from the lake. Their efforts were successful in pulling nearly two tons of debris from the lake.

Their efforts also yielded more than 50 automobile tires, as well as countless bottles and cans and items so deformed they were unidentifiable.

Multiple non-seaworthy vessels were also dragged from the lake. It is estimated more than one ton of debris filled the 20-cubic yard dumpster supplied by the Town of Chester. That dumpster was provided at the request of the Village Mayor John Bell.

The group’s main goal was to do its part regarding environmental consciousness in order to make the lake cleaner for its users.

The role Walton Lake plays in the local ecosystem

Walton Lake is one of the few initial outflows into the Moodna Creek Viaduct. This water source flows through 14 municipalities in Orange County before it enters the Hudson River and eventually the Atlantic Ocean.

The vital water source serves thousands of people’s drinking water in the lower Hudson River Valley. It also remains one of five water sources supplying the Village of Chester residents with clean drinking water.

Sizing up Walton Lake

Walton Lake covers approximately 117 acres and is 68 feet at its deepest point. The mean depth is 22 feet. It rests 705 feet above sea level and its shores measure 2.4 miles.

It harbors Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Brown Trout, Chain Pickerel, Rock Bass, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Yellow Perch and Triploid Carp. It is regulated by several governmental agencies including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which stocks the lake annually with 3,700 Brown Trout.

The lake also is home to many species of birds and amphibians.

Also interested in the lake is the NYS Health Department, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Orange County Health Department, Town of Monroe, Town of Chester, Village of Chester, Town of Monroe Highway Department.

It offers enormous tranquility for the residents around the lake as well as the endless enjoyment of fishermen and water enthusiasts who gain pleasure from Walton Lake’s majestic waters.

Thanks to ....

The community would like to express their gratitude for the Town of Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone for his support and agreement in keeping this cleanup a regular event tentatively scheduled to coincide with Earth Day, April 22, 2022. Thank you to the Village of Chester Mayor, John Thomas Bell, for his physical efforts in assisting to remove a non-seaworthy vessel from the Lake.

Village of Chester Water Commissioner Gary Green enthusiastically acted as a liaison with the volunteers.

Assistant Superintendent of the Monroe Highway Department, Bill Brown, for his continued support with the communities cause.

Town of Chester for providing the dumpster to remove the large volume of debris contaminating this important watershed.

Lastly, the thanks to all of the volunteers who donated their time to such an environmentally worthy cause. Applauds all around for making Walton Lake significantly cleaner.

This article was provided by Ralph Pena and Andrew Lawrence of the Friends of Walton Lake.