Open Grant Funding for Non-public Lakes - NJ Senate Bill 3618

Open Grant Funding for Non-public Lakes - NJ Senate Bill 3618

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Mark Van Ostenbridge started this petition to Governor Phil Murphy and

Dear Governor Murphy and Senator Oroho,

It has come to our attention that NJ has passed bill S3618 to allow grant funding for lake management activities for recreation and conservation around the state.  The undersigned applaud that effort and believe that clean water is an environmental imperative.  However, we also believe that leaving private lakes out of funding opportunity is a major shortfall.

We are residents of the Culver Lake community in Frankford Township, NJ, and understand the challenges of water quality management well.  In recent years, the lake has seen increases in Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) which have imperiled the wildlife and ecosystem not just in the lake, but downstream in the Paulinskill Watershed.  In response, our community has established a Water Quality Committee which, in conjunction with the nonprofit Greater Culver Lake Watershed Conservation Foundation (GCLWCF), works to improve water through means such as education, stormwater management, septic management, and an evolving aeration project.

As the name implies, the GCLWCF’s goal is protecting not just the water in our lake, but the entire watershed.  Culver Lake itself is fed by two incoming brooks and a natural spring.  The outlet for the water is the Culver Brook, a tributary to the environmentally sensitive Paulinskill River.  Culver Lake water directly feeds in to the Paulinskill Lake's trout habitat and ultimately feeds the Delaware River.  As you can see, any toxic HAB conditions in Culver Lake have a direct impact on the entire watershed.

Given the occurrence of the aforementioned HABs, we are in the process of undertaking a major aeration project to clean the state’s water as it flows through.  As a result, we have contracted with a firm to design and bid a system whose significant cost will be borne by community members.  

The system under design is a linear oxygen diffuser.  While there are 36 such systems operating in the United States, this project would provide a demonstration of its effectiveness in reducing internal phosphorus loading and a resulting decrease in HABs in New Jersey lakes.

This is not just Culver Lake’s problem as what happens here affects everything in and around the watershed.  As a result, we are asking that you open up bill S3618 to include help for non-public bodies of water as well.

Sincerely,

The Culver Lake Community

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