Water is simple. Water quality data, on the other hand, can be complicated and confusing. To help the general public understand water quality data for Lake Hopatcong and the broader Musconetcong River watershed, two local organizations secured grants from the Watershed Institute to work collaboratively and develop a “watershed report card.”
The two local grassroots nonprofits, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF) and the Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA), will share the $10,000 award. The money will be used to develop the watershed report card that can be used as a tool to engage and educate residents about water quality on Lake Hopatcong and in the Musconetcong River, using easy-to-understand language while conveying the complex topic of water quality indicators.
“We are excited to partner with LHF to help the residents better understand what we do, and how they can help protect the health of our communities and the beautiful place with which we live.” said Nancy Lawler, Water Quality Program Coordinator, Musconetcong Watershed Association.
Working together—and with the help of environmental consultant Princeton Hydro LLC—the two groups will develop an easy to understand, visually appealing format with professional graphic design, focusing on scientifically based but less-technical explanations. The newly created format will include its existing water quality data with recommendations to the public demonstrating how they can help improve watershed health.
“These factors are so instrumental in the health of a lake, river, or other water body, but frequently they are discussed at such a high level that those of us who enjoy the water don’t connect with that data,” said LHF president Jessica K. Murphy. “Hopefully with this project we can bridge that disconnect, and help residents understand what all those scientific terms mean for the health of the water itself and the future of the ecosystem.
The grant awards were part of approximately $42,500 in project money given by the Watershed Institute to nine organizations from across New Jersey, using funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that was established in 2012 with the mission of improving Lake Hopatcong for all, now and in the years to come. For more information, visit www.lakehopatcongfoundation.org.
The Musconetcong Watershed Association is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of the Musconetcong River and its watershed, including its natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.musconetcong.org.
The Watershed Institute promotes the health and resiliency of New Jersey’s watersheds by strengthening, connecting, and mobilizing watershed organizations. For more information, visit www.thewatershedinstitute.org.