From The Blog

Ongoing Bathymetric Survey Gives Staff Another Tool for Proactive Management

Throughout the first quarter of 2024, KICA will have contractors on the island conducting a bathymetric survey in each of the island’s 122 ponds. This survey will provide important data on the submarine topography of the island’s ponds. 

Once complete, KICA will receive three-dimensional bathymetric maps illustrating the land that lies underwater. These results can be compared to results of KICA’s 2015 bathymetric survey, to understand how the topography has changed over time and to identify any areas that may need to be looked at more closely for further analysis. 

The survey is part of KICA’s continuing effort to increase its arsenal of island data in order to provide innovative solutions to current and future issues. KICA staff will use the resulting report to inform upcoming projects, and to manage flagged problem areas proactively. KICA’s civil engineer Ryan Ellmers and Lakes supervisor and biologist Matt Hill, whose teams work in tandem to manage the island’s pond-based drainage system, already have plans for how this data can inform their work going forward. Ryan is interested in where we have pipes going in and out of ponds. “While this survey won’t directly impact our drainage capabilities, there may be areas where sediment buildup is affecting flow that we can proactively address.” For Matt, the survey is a pond management best practice. “We see the surface of the pond, and we’re consistently gathering data, but it’s also helpful to know what’s under the pond’s surface.” As an example, when the Lakes team places aerators in ponds, they need to place those at the deepest point for the best diffusion and healthiest pond. That’s only one potential benefit. “With the pond system, it all goes hand in hand – it’s an ecosystem.”

While the survey is underway, members may see surveyors in boats on island ponds. In small ponds, surveyors may be unable to use a boat and may simply wade through. For the safety of our contractors and the quality of the survey data, please do not attempt to make contact with the surveyors. KICA’s project managers, KICA civil engineer Ryan Ellmers, PE ([email protected]) or KICA Lakes supervisor, Matt Hill ([email protected]), are happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have during this process.