A car dashboard, a mannequin, a lawn mower, and silverware were among the thousands of items pulled from the Lake Hopatcong shoreline the last time the lake was lowered five feet, in 2013. As the lake community prepares for another 60-inch drawdown this fall, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation is once again calling for volunteers to help remove debris from the exposed lakebed during the Lake Hopatcong Lake-Wide Cleanup on Saturday, Nov. 3.

The cleanup aims to bring hundreds of volunteers to Lake Hopatcong to take advantage of the exposed sections of shoreline to scour for debris that was dumped or accidentally lost to the lake over the years. During the last 60-inch drawdown, more than 400 volunteers accessing the lake from nearly 40 locations, pulling more than 23,000 pounds of debris from the lakebed in an effort that was coordinated by the Lake Hopatcong Foundation. This year, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation is working in partnership with the Lake Hopatcong Commission to again bring residents together to remove accumulated litter and help make the lake a healthier place.

“I still look back on that day five years ago as such an amazing experience, when hundreds of people were working across the miles of shoreline to achieve the same goal of making the lake cleaner,” said Lake Hopatcong Foundation President Jessica K. Murphy. “We hope folks will come together again this fall and do it all over again. It’s not only a great day for the lake environment, it’s also a lot of fun for those involved.”

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To coordinate the removal of all the debris, the Foundation will be working in partnership with the Morris and Sussex Counties’ Clean Communities programs, as well as the Departments of Public Works in Hopatcong, Jefferson, Mt. Arlington, and Roxbury. Bridgestone Tire will be recycling tires pulled from the lake.  

The Foundation is looking to recruit 40-50 team leaders and hundreds of volunteers. Local groups and organizations are encouraged to assemble teams to participate. For more information or to sign up, visit lakehopatcongfoundation.org/cleanup2018. Lakefront home or business owners who are interested in offering an access point for volunteers can email LHF Grants and Programs Director Donna Macalle-Holly at donna@lakehopatcongfoundation.org. For questions, contact the Lake Hopatcong Foundation at 973-663-2500.

The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to protecting the lake environment and enhancing the lake experience by bringing together public and private resources to encourage a culture of sustainability and stewardship on and around New Jersey’s largest lake, for this and future generations. To learn more, visit lakehopatcongfoundation.org.