ROXBURY, NJ – A click of your mouse can help the fight against harmful invasive plants in Lake Hopatcong.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is asking people to browse to boatus.org/grants/vote.asp and vote for its project. The foundation is seeking a grant from the BoatUS Foundation to help it create 10,000 maps of the lake that will include information about invasive plants and how boaters can help prevent them from spreading.
“Water chestnut, hydrilla, fanwort … they all sit on 'Lake Hopatcong’s Least Wanted' list, and the public can help assist the Lake Hopatcong Foundation in keeping them out of New Jersey’s largest lake by voting daily through March 24,” said a statement from the foundation.
It said the foundation’s project made it to the finalist list in the BoatUS Foundation’s annual Grassroots Grants competition.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation said the Lake Hopatcong Guide Maps, to be printed on “durable, synthetic paper,” will show Lake Hopatcong depth contours, landmarks, municipal borders, lakefront businesses and public launch sites.
“Most important, the map will include information on how to stop aquatic hitchhikers and educate boaters on how to prevent the transporting of aquatic invasive species, helping to keep the lake from getting taken over by species that have taken over water bodies throughout the region and across the country,” said the foundation. “The focus will be on species that most threaten Lake Hopatcong. There will also be information on clean boating, including providing the locations of pump-out stations on the lake.”
The free maps would be distributed to all lakefront businesses, beach clubs and public launch sites and elsewhere in the region. Additionally, information on the map would be uploaded onto the foundation’s free smartphone app.
Voting is open to people 13 and over and you can vote once a day.
“Lake Hopatcong is New Jersey’s largest lake, and thousands of boaters use the lake every boating season, including many who come from other bodies of water,” said the foundation. “This project would help protect this important natural and recreational resource from being taken over by aggressive invasive species, and ensure the lake remains a beautiful and fun destination for many generations.”