August 2015 update

Despite high season, summer distractions, fires and droughts there has been some positive movement forward in "Saving the Thorofare".

Our donations to the segregated “Save the Thorofare” account through the "People Helping People" 501-C-3 nonprofit entity have shown good progress and are approaching $4000. It is a good start and we have donations from $10 to $1000 and promises of more. Our community support is important because it will demonstrate to government and institutional resources that it is a strongly desired project by large numbers of people. As of now we have a mailing list of nearly fifty people who have donated and requested to be kept aware by email notification for updates and events. One question in our mailbox ( was: “What expenses are being incurred by the Breakwater Committee?” At the moment the only expenses coming from donations is $18.50 and the entire amount is merely the transaction fees that are incurred from donations made through PayPal. Of course our Breakwater Committee is totally volunteer. One of our committee members has actually scuba dived an inspection of the breakwater to catalog the most serious ruptures for repair.

Last year Bonner County allocated funds to support some temporary repairs to some of the more serious breaches in the breakwater. In the first photo (upper left) you can see the newer planking that was erected at that time. In addition a large number of downed trees in the Thorofare that were navigation hazards as well were taken to the inside of the breakwater and placed in front of the more accessible breach points. This helped to slow the waters leaking into the lake from under the pathways that had washed out. A recent inspection indicated that it was a beneficial procedure. That project ended when the Bonner County money ran out. Picture 2 (top right) displays the tree relocation process. Picture 3 (bottom left) shows the floating logs that were left over when the project ended and picture 4 (bottom right) is the Copper Bay crew harvesting a derelict tree for the breakwater.

Bonner County’s Lake Commission has the primary responsibility for management of the Thorofare. Despite the fact that the Thorofare is in the Kaniksu National Forest it is the county’s management job. One of the most important things to get done is the reestablishment of the approach channel of the breakwater that is beginning to become unnavigable to powered craft. Even with repairs to the breakwater wall the shifting channel still needs to be realigned so that a stronger water flow will prevent further sedimentation. This means dredging. Dredging means a lot of paperwork through a bureaucratic process which starts with the county but needs to be blessed by folks likes Corps of Engineers, Fish & Game and maybe BLM. At the moment that is in process and what we need some watch closely. That approval will be opening gate for more vigorous activity.

We have had a few questions about the expected costs of the “Save the Thorofare”. There was a full engineering study a couple years ago for a full repair and replacement of the breakwater structure and with dredging. The estimate was $1.9 million! That is not a realistic goal for us, at this point, for what we could reasonably expect to be able to attain. Once we have approval on the dredging request there will be a decision on the width and depth of the channel. After that it will be able to obtain some hard numbers with which to work. At that point we will then be able to do a projection of the overall project.

We have had literally hundreds of people become involved on the website and Facebook making positive comments. It is very nice to get positive email and a lot of Facebook "Likes" and better yet "Shares" but what we really need badly is for our community supporters to not only Like us but to send money too.

For those contemplating becoming a donor: All tax deductible donations are accounted for in an account to be allocated ONLY to “Save the Thorofare” purposes. All personal donations are accounted for and recorded by donor. Any funds that might be spent for those purposes that would come from any governmental or institutional resource would separate from community donations.

Just in case this update has helped your decision to share in the project’s success please just click on our Paypal (credit cards accepted) button on right sidebar of this website.


- Breakwater Committee