Posted Monday, August 10th, 2020
Funding for Morris County Park Commission and Lake Hopatcong Commission
The state Department of Environmental Protection has awarded $3.5 million in grants statewide for projects to reduce impacts of nonpoint source pollution on waterways, including $1 million for development of lake and watershed restoration plans to mitigate harmful algal blooms.
Included are grants for the Morris County Park Commission and Lake Hopatcong Commission for projects and studies regarding harmful algal blooms that closed much of Lake Hopatcong to recreational activities in 2019, and which disrupted the lake economy.
“We are very pleased to partner with communities through these grants to protect New Jersey’s water and public health. These grants empower New Jersey communities to protect their lakes and waterways from the effects of phosphorus and other contaminants that can lead to public health risks,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe.
Non-point source pollution grants have been awarded for the following projects:
Morris County Park Commission, $495,000, to finance:
Lake Hopatcong Commission, $206,000, to finance:
Nonpoint source pollution is caused by stormwater runoff that carries a wide variety of pollutants into waterways, including nutrients from fertilizers, animal waste and improperly operating septic systems.
As directed by Gov. Phil Murphy, the DEP also earmarked $1 million for projects specifically addressing harmful algal blooms, also known as HABs.
Other groups receiving grants include the Sussex County MUA, Swartswood Lakes and Watershed Association, $310,000, Musconetcong Watershed Association, Raritan Headwaters Association, Lake Topanemus Park Commission, New Jersey Water Supply Authority, Rutgers University, Montclair University, North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council, Natural Resource Education Foundation of New Jersey, and the North Hudson Sewerage Authority
More information about all of the projects can be found at www.nj.gov/dep/wms/bears/npsrestgrants.html.
As part of the state’s HABs response effort, the DEP has provided $2.5 million in grants to fund local projects to assess innovative strategies and technologies to mitigate and prevent harmful algal blooms. Current projects include phosphorous treatments, Biochar installation and rain garden workshops for Lake Hopatcong; installation of floating wetlands in Greenwood Lake; and baseline monitoring in Budd Lake and Rosedale Lake.
The DEP is also implementing an enhanced Harmful Algal Bloom Response Strategy that includes a HAB interactive mapping tool that allows the public to report blooms and view detailed data on bloom.