This is the sixth of 12 posts in our A Laker’s Dozen: 12 “Sweet” LHF Achievements from 2016 series – reflecting on and celebrating 2016 and the Lake Hopatcong Community.
It has now been one year since the Lake Hopatcong Foundation conducted a symposium with community leaders and elected officials. We thought it would be worthwhile to look back at what has been accomplished since this symposium was conducted. Since November 2015, progress has been made on many of the issues highlighted at the symposium:
- The Lake Hopatcong Foundation arranged, with Sen. Bucco’s assistance, to meet with New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. Joined by Senators Bucco, Oroho and Pennachio, the foundation presented a broad array of issues. Commissioner Martin and his staff were very interested in a long-term strategy for weeds at Lake Hopatcong and further news should be forthcoming. The foundation is also working with NJ State Park personnel to implement new programs at the lake.
- The Lake Hopatcong Foundation has initiated a trial hydro-raking project for Bright’s Cove and Landing Channel. This project started with identifying areas of the lake that appear to be well-suited for hydro-raking (a process which actually pulls lake weeds by their roots and removes some of the muck from the lake bottom at the same time). We have also been working with neighboring towns on how to best dispose of the material removed from the lake, an aspect which has proved the most complicated part of the process. This project will move forward in the spring and results will be analyzed to determine the utility of hydro-raking in other areas of Lake Hopatcong.
- Working with Sen. Bucco, a meaningful dialogue was begun with New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney to better understand the issues and challenges confronting Lake Hopatcong. We expect Senator Sweeney to visit the lake this spring.
- A successful web petition was conducted to document the concern and level of support for Lake Hopatcong.
- In conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation conducted a public dredging symposium in June 2016 to educate the public and determine how the dredging permit process can be simplified. The foundation has briefed the mayors and councils of the surrounding municipalities and is working to have a broad dredging initiative ready for the next major drawdown, currently scheduled for 2018.
- The Lake Hopatcong Foundation staff will be working with the public works departments from the municipalities surrounding the lake on the maintenance and tracking of various stormwater runoff devices.
- The Lake Hopatcong Foundation has continued to explore grant opportunities capable of impacting the lake and surrounding communities. Discussions are being conducted with various organizations with the intent of identifying partnerships for long-term support.
- The Lake Hopatcong Foundation has worked to maintain an open line of communication between the four municipalities surrounding the lake and has worked to coordinate efforts to the greatest extent possible on areas of mutual interest which impact the lake.
Look for the seventh post in our A Laker’s Dozen: 12 “Sweet” LHF Achievements from 2016 series on Giving Tuesday next week!