The Greenwood Lake Commission will receive a $1 million grant for water-quality improvement projects, New Jersey officials said Thursday, Dec. 8.
Another $1 million grant will go to the Lake Hopatcong Commission to help reduce phosphorus loading to minimize harmful algal blooms (HABs).
The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is awarding $9.95 million in grants to local government agencies, nonprofit groups, universities and others to fund projects that will improve water quality and reduce the impacts of nonpoint-source pollution from stormwater on publicly accessible lakes, Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said.
More than $8 million will fund projects on lakes in or next to overburdened communities.
“These grants will help a diverse group of DEP partners implement projects that will reduce the harmful effects of stormwater, nonpoint-source pollution and harmful algal blooms that will only worsen due to the impacts of climate change,” LaTourette said.
“On behalf of the Murphy Administration, we are excited to facilitate these projects in various overburdened communities to meet department environmental justice and statewide water-quality goals and objectives.”
The funding comes from a $10 million federal American Rescue Plan Act award to New Jersey that was appropriated by the state Legislature for the management and maintenance of lakes for recreation and conservation purposes.
The Greenwood Lake Commission project includes a comprehensive stormwater/nonpoint-source management inventory and extensive water-quality and HAB monitoring.
The commission is working with Princeton Hydro, Montclair State University and Northern Lights.
They also aim to remove sediment, invasive plants and debris by hydro-raking, to provide nutrient inactivation in Belcher Creek with ferric sulfate, and to develop a long-term plan to improve that creek’s water quality and natural functions.
The Lake Hopatcong Commission is working with four surrounding municipalities (Jefferson Township, Roxbury, Hopatcong and Mount Arlington) to install and remove biochar sleeves in two stormwater ponds and in a series of stormwater structures, manufactured treatment devices and inlets into Lake Hopatcong.
The project also will include the removal of sediment that has accumulated in front of or adjacent to stormwater pipes or outfalls that discharge directly into the lake.
The Lake Musconetcong Regional Planning Board will receive a $572,000 grant for the continued operation of a mechanical weed harvester on the lake.
Since 2010, the program has removed more than 21.9 million pounds of weeds, resulting in the removal of almost 4,000 pounds of phosphorus from the waterbody, the board said.
Lake Musconetcong on the border of Morris and Sussex counties and is part of Hopatcong State Park.
“These grants will help a diverse group of DEP partners implement projects that will reduce the harmful effects of stormwater, nonpoint-source pollution and harmful algal blooms that will only worsen due to the impacts of climate change.” - Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette