UConn to improve Mirror Lake’s flood resilience 

Mirror Lake, located on the south side of UConn’s campus, is one of the two lakes students use to hang out or study by. There have been recent reports of higher algae levels seen in the lake, an indicator of problems in the lake’s ecosystem. Photo by Julie Spillane/The Daily Campus.

The University of Connecticut is moving forward with plans to improve the quality of Mirror Lake, according to an article from UConn Today

Michael Dietz, a UConn natural resources professor, said that this process has been long in the making, and will hopefully come to fruition soon. 

“A lot of people throughout the last 20 years have been wanting to make some changes to the lake,” Dietz said in a phone interview. “The goal is to be working on it within two years.” 

Although ideas have been circulating for some time, the Board of Trustees voted last Wednesday to authorize the start of the designing process. This process includes a concept plan and the costs of the university’s different choices, according to the UConn Today article. 

As many UConn students are aware, Mirror Lake is deceptively shallow and mucky. In fact, , the lake has lost six feet of depth since its last dredging in 1970, UConn Today reported. 

Dredging is the process of removing the accumulated organic sediment at the bottom of the lake, in order to allow the lake to absorb more stormwater runoff, according to the UConn Today article. 

Mirror Lake’s dam, which was assessed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in 2019, poses a hazard for Route 195, according to the UConn Today article.  

Dietz voiced concern about the 75-year-old dam and its implications as climate change causes harsh storms to become more frequent. 

“The dam would be overtopped in a 100-year storm,” Dietz said. “Fixing the dam and dredging the lake are minimum requirements for stormwater management.” 

Dietz has hope for the project, and how it may enhance the greater UConn community.  

“These changes will make a difference in the UConn and Mansfield community, and [they] will be used by and enjoyed by many, many people for years to come,” he said.  

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