Environmental Programs & Initiatives
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation has a wide mission that involves a variety of facets of the Lake Hopatcong experience. But none of that will really matter if the health of the lake deteriorates. Because of that, we have a strong focus on maintaining and improving the lake environment.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is launching a program based on the Lake George Lake Steward program, to help prevent the spread of invasive species to Lake Hopatcong. Students at Seton Hall University helped craft the program as part of a partnership between the LHF and the school’s Greenius environmental studies program.
The Lake Hopatcong Water Scouts program is designed to educate people about the threat posed to the lake by the presence of invasive plants, water chestnut in particular, as well as to recruit trained volunteers to remove them. While the program can claim some success, the need for vigilance continues, giving Water Scouts an essential role of insuring the future health of the lake.
Floating Wetland Islands
Using money from a 319(h) grant awarded to the Lake Hopatcong Commission by the N.J. DEP (which was managed by the Lake Hopatcong Foundation), several floating wetland islands were installed in Ashley Cove in Jefferson Township. The plants on these islands pull phosphorus out of the water, thereby reducing the nutrients that aid aquatic plant growth in the lake.
Lake Hopatcong Guide Map
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation received a BOAT U.S. Foundation Grant in 2015 to create a Lake Hopatcong Guide Map, a guide to lakeside businesses with information about how to prevent aquatic hitchhikers. The map also indicates those marinas that have pump out stations available and important phone numbers. Copies of the map are free and have been distributed to local businesses and municipalities around the lake as well as the local Chambers of Commerce. Please stop by our office if you need additional copies.
Water Quality Monitoring
The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection and the Lake Hopatcong Commission/Lake Hopatcong Regional Planning Board had conducted regular water quality monitoring of the lake, going back to the 1980s. That data is important for not only tracking the lake’s water quality, but also for bringing grant money to the lake for stormwater management and water quality improvement. The foundation will continue to ensure that that long-term water quality monitoring program is ongoing.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation has regularly held events that help remove debris and trash from the lake and it’s watershed. In 2016, the foundation began participating in Roxbury Township’s Adopt-A-Road program to clean a section of Mount Arlington Boulevard from the town border into Silver Springs. In 2013, we held a fall cleanup in conjunction with the 5-year 60-inch draw down. More than 400 volunteers accessed the lake from 39 different entry points and removed more than 23,000 pounds of trash from the lake bed. With assistance from the Departments of Public Works in Hopatcong, Jefferson, Mt. Arlington, and Roxbury as well as the Morris and Sussex Clean Communities programs, this massive cooperative effort on behalf of the lake was a huge success!
Watershed Report Card
Through a grant from the Watershed Institute, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, working in cooperation with the Musconetcong Watershed Association, with assistance from Princeton Hydro, the lake’s environmental consultant, developed a “Watershed Report Card” for Lake Hopatcong and the Musconetcong River.