Government

Petition Drive: Lake Hopatcong Choking on Weeds and it's the State's Fault

A Lake Hopatcong weed harvester in operation Credits: Jessica Murphy

ROXBURY, NJ – The state government needs to step-up and do the right thing for Lake Hopatcong by spending a lot more on summertime weed removal, says an online petition drive.

The effort, spearheaded by the non-profit Lake Hopatcong Foundation, insists Trenton has dropped the ball when it comes to weed control on the lake. The state, 15 years ago, committed $500,000 annually to weed control on the 2,500-acre lake - New Jersey's largest - but subsequently cut the spending. Last year, it spent only $155,000, a level that left many areas choked with unwanted aquatic plants

“The fact that this state lake has received less and less financial support from Trenton each year is ... devastating for the long-term health of the ecosystem,” says the Foundation.

Sign Up for E-News

“It’s been frustrating,” said Lake Hopatcong Foundation President Jessica Murphy. “Over the years, the state provided less and less funding … which is obviously very important to the health of the lake.”

The state changed the way it supported weed removal on the lake. Initially, the practice was administered by the Lake Hopatcong Commission but that system was changed about four years ago when weed control was placed in the hands of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)..

Then, the state re-allocated, to open-space acquisition, most of the weed harvesting money, said Murphy “so the DEP had to figure out other ways to get money for weed harvesting. It was able to get some, the $155,000, but that’s not nearly enough.”

As coves became choked with plants last summer, the Foundation donated $15,000 for weed removal and Jefferson Township pitched in $10,000. This allowed weed removal to continue through September.

The state has suggested towns bordering the lake, including Roxbury, should help pay for the weed harvesting. Roxbury officials have repeatedly denounced that idea, pointing out the lake is owned by the state and open to all state residents. They also note the township’s expenditures on sewers in the Landing area help prevent weed growth by stopping the influx of nutrients from failing lakeside septic systems.

“The four towns around the lake are so different,” said Murphy. “The portion of Roxbury on the lake is relatively small compared Roxbury’s geographical area, so it would be a hard sell for Roxbury officials to say, `We are going to allocate resources to Lake Hopatcong.'"

However, she added that "when you have four towns and two counties involved, sometimes your voice gets a little diluted or everybody gets pulled in different directions.”

Those who use, or even just care about, Lake Hopatcong were stunned by the level of weed growth that took place in 2015, said Murphy. “It was kind of universally understood this past summer was one of the worse, if not the worse, that many people who’ve been at this lake a long time have seen,” she said. “It was startlingly bad … The northern end didn’t get touched (with weed harvesting) until late August.

The petition drive says the state’s mismanagement of the weed problem “has caused parts of the lake to be unnavigable, and monitoring data has shown that the reduced weed harvests of recent years have reversed the long-term trend of improved water quality on the lake.”

The petition will be sent to the State House, the State Senate, the governor, the DEP commissioner and area legislators.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Roxbury

Upcoming Events

Fri, September 22, 6:00 PM

Kennedy Elementary School Gym, Succasunna

Roxbury Cub Scouts Rocket into Scouting Event

Education Other

Carousel_image_9252e5621a44c113fa3d_racgsale

Sat, September 23, 9:00 AM

Horseshoe Lake Fairgrounds, Succasunna

Community Yard Sale at Horseshoe Lake

Arts & Entertainment Home & Garden

Carousel_image_2c065e5e0a7aa950e5e4_sidewalk-sale

Sat, September 23, 9:00 AM

Ramsey Outdoor - In Roxbury Mall (Next to Home Depot), Succasunna

Ramsey Outdoor Annual Sidewalk Sale - Succasunna ...

Business & Finance Sports

Carousel_image_9a3c7376c65d89af0021_ledgebapbasin

Sat, September 23, 11:00 AM

Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna

Ledgewood. Roxbury Township: An Historic View

Education

Carousel_image_5f63f3206968b1bfae36_instrument

Sat, September 23, 4:30 PM

Roxbury High School, Succasunna

Roxbury High School Marching Band Classic

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Carousel_image_2222877ebaa21f7209a6_e46d8c1ec45038fb8c78_lhf_lake_loop_2015_paddling_board_participants

Sun, September 24, 7:00 AM

Hopatcong State Park, Landing

Fifth Annual “LHF Lake Loop”

Giving Back Health & Wellness Sports

Carousel_image_11b9896e4d9a6ee24692_mini_magick20170920-17746-17w5gwq

Mon, September 25, 6:30 PM

Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna

Fall Gardening

Education Home & Garden

Carousel_image_0c8f58b67219cb6d4732_rhonda_denet_photo

Thu, September 28, 7:00 PM

Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna

From Jazz to Soul-Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Found Cat! Randolph Tennis Center on Sussex Tpk.

September 11, 2017

Is this your cat?  

Found Sept. 9 at Randolph Tennis Center.  

Please call 973-543-9333 with any information. 

 Very friendly! Neutered male.

JCP&L Provide Support Across the Companies Service Area

JCP&L linemen and support personnel are among a large group of linemen, damage accessors, electrical contractors, forestry crews and support personnel from FirstEnergy Corp. utilities  that have mobilized to help utilities in Florida with restoration efforts as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Getting it Right From the Start; Roxbury Realtor Bob Idakaar

ROXBURY, NJ – Twenty years ago this month, Bob Idakaar experienced an unprofessional real estate agent. That’s when he decided to be a good one.

Idakaar, a lifelong Succasunna resident and TAPinto Roxbury sponsor, bought his fifth home in July 1997. A big event, one that could have been joyous, ended up being stressful and unenjoyable.

“I had a bad experience,” he ...

Rozella Clyde for Morris County Freeholder

September 12, 2017

Rozella Clyde is a lifelong learner and a professional educator running for the Morris County freeholder seat being vacated by Hank Lyon in 2017. 

Clyde’s passion for the land is anchored in her Western Pennsylvania rural roots. Growing up on a small dairy and poultry farm inspired in her a love for nature, and passion for the preservation of open space, protection of our natural ...

Cyberbullying – Often a Devastating Form of Child Abuse

September 12, 2017

Cyberbullying – Often a Devastating Form of Child Abuse

Deirdre’s House Urges Parents to Have Important Discussions With Their Children to Prevent Cyberbullying

With the new school year now in session, Deirdre’s House (www.deirdreshouse.org), which is The Center for Morris County’s child victims, urges parents to talk to their children about the damaging effects of ...