Kansas University’s Potter Lake is about to get a new lease on life. Apparently inspired by the effort of KU student groups to clean up and restore a major campus focal point, KU Endowment and the chancellor’s office have identified funding to dredge the lake. Additional federal funds will be used to reduce the storm water runoff that swept chemicals into the lake and encouraged damaging plant growth that sapped the oxygen from the water and resulted in periodic fish kills.
Students organized the Potter Lake Project last year and scooped eight tons of coontail from the lake. Student Senate funds provided aerators to the lake to increase oxygen levels. However, those were short-term solutions for the lake, which had only been dredged once in its 99-year history. The Kansas Biological Survey estimated last fall that 600 dump truck loads of sediment needed to be removed from the lake.
The dredging, estimated to cost $125,000, is scheduled to begin in June.
Students should be commended for pursuing the Potter Lake cleanup with both funding and manual labor. Their dedication has helped clean up an ecological eyesore on Mount Oread as well as helping preserve the popular lake for future generations of KU students.