The New Jersey State Senate has unanimously passed the lakes Funding Bill #A5778 and S3618, funds that can be use for certain lake management activities for recreation and conservation purposes.
Paul Zarrillo, New Jersey Co-Chairman of the Greenwood Lake Commission, said the bill will make $10 million available to New Jersey public lakes.
“This is the first time New Jersey public lakes as an entity have been deemed worthy of state funding,” Zarrillo added. “This is a one-time appropriations funding bill and the first step to obtain permanent annual lakes funding.”
What’s in the legislation
The legislation, which awaits the governor’s signature, reads:
“The bill requires the DEP to develop criteria for the evaluation and ranking of applications to provide priority to projects located in the Highlands Region and pinelands area and to improve water quality and increase recreational access and use of lakes, including projects to control nutrient levels in lakes in order to prevent future harmful algal blooms.
“The bill provides priority for funding for projects located in the Highlands Region and pinelands area in recognition of the critical role lakes in these ecologically significant locations provide in the supply of drinking water to residents throughout the State, watershed protection, and for recreation and conservation purposes.”
The bill concludes:
“The Greenwood Lake Commission, the Lake Hopatcong Commission, and local government units may apply for grants pursuant to the bill. The DEP would be required to approve any application submitted by the Greenwood Lake Commission and the Lake Hopatcong Commission, and each commission would receive a minimum grant award of $750,000.”
The Greenwood Lake commissioner will be putting together a list of projects to submit to the state