Dallas Student Hopes to Save Bachman Lake

A Dallas high school student is working to make Bachman Lake clean and safe for those who use it.

Henry Roseman said the lake he loves is long overdue for dredging and the constantly collecting sediment has created a dangerous island of debris in the middle of the lake. We boarded a small boat with Roseman who took us to the area he is most concerned about.

“It looks like just a whole bunch of sticks and dirt, but if I pull up a little closer you will see it is only a depth of about two or three inches,” he said.

Roseman then exited the boat and was able to walk atop the compacted debris.

“The last time, they dredged it to a minimum depth of eight feet,” he said. “In 2002, when they finished the project, this section right here was eight feet deep.”

The Dallas Rowing Club, who uses the lake regularly, have placed buoys around the area to warn boaters and kayakers.

“The first problem and the most severe and immediate problem is for boater safety,” Roseman said as he maneuvered around branches and limbs in the water. “As you see all these sticks and such, I just had to pull our engine up.”

Roseman estimated it would take about $13 million to dredge the lake. He has made it his mission to figure out how so much sediment has found its way into Bachman Lake, but is also actively looking for an agency to step forward and take on the project.

Roseman has contacted Dallas City Council, but also the Federal Aviation Administration, who he hopes will work with Love Field on a project. With Bachman Lake so close to Love Field, he is concerned the increased number of birds on the debris island could pose a threat to safety of incoming and departing planes.

“I’m not an expert on aviation safety, but I did go and look at the FAA data,” he said. “From the 12 calendar months since the island was here, they’ve had 50 percent more bird strikes than the 12 calendar months before.”

While he is not sure what will be done, he is dedicated to finding a solution.

“The way I see it, there are two options. Either something will happen or we will end up with Bachman Park. They’ll just scratch the 'lake' part out,” he said. “The way this is working now, in a couple of months, you’ll be able to walk straight across the lake.”

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