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Leesport, PA

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CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: PA-17

APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General

BUSINESS PROGRAM: Flood Damage Reduction

LOCATION: Tulpehocken Creek, Schuylkill River Basin

DESCRIPTION: The Blue Marsh Lake project was adopted as HD 87 522 in the Flood Control Act of 1962. It consists of an earth and rock fill dam; a spillway south of the dam and gate controlled outlet works discharging through a conduit on rock along the right abutment. The dam site is located on Tulpehocken Creek about 1.5 miles upstream from its confluence with Plum Creek and about six miles northwest of Reading, PA. Project construction was completed in 1980. Annual funding is used for routine operations and maintenance of the dam and related structures, including project buildings, grounds and equipment, management of public-use areas such as access roads, parking lots, picnic areas and an overlook area; also evaluation data gathering and analysis, real estate actions, dam safety efforts; recreation and environmental stewardship actions.

This project is an integral part of the Schuylkill River Flood Control Program. In addition to aiding in flood control along the Tulpehocken Creek and the Schuylkill River, the project will operate for water supply, water quality control and low flow augmentation in the Schuylkill River and salinity repulsion in the Delaware River Estuary. Authorized purposes are flood control, water supply and low flow augmentation. Secondary purposes are recreation and water quality control.

Project Goals: The purpose of this project provides for multiple purpose development for water supply, flood control, and recreation. It consists of an earth and rock fill dam; a spillway south of the dam and gate controlled outlet works discharging through a conduit on rock along the right abutment.

COMMENTS: Project has prevented cumulative damages of more than $90 million. The recreation program at the project attracts almost 900,000 visitors a year, with an economic benefit to the local community of $9.44 million in visitor spending. The stewardship program at the project provides an environmental benefit by protecting 6,162 acres of land and 1,150 acres of water.  Blue Marsh Lake was selected as USACE Recreation Project of the Year for FY 2013.

PROJECT MANAGER: Monica A. Chasten