Greenwood Lake Commission: The West Milford Messenger was wrong to report that the lake was closed to swimming because of algae blooms

22 Jul 2020 | 07:37

    As Co-Chairman of the Greenwood Lake Commission, I want to respond to a recent article both online and in your weekly newspapers. I also sent a letter to the web manager last week, asking to retract much of the false information that was presented in the article.

    I understand that much of the information in the articles was from an interview with Mr. Jeff Tittel, who is the director of the N.J. Sierra Club. Mr. Tittel and the Sierra Club does some good work and obviously have their own agenda and they have supported the Greenwood Lake Commission in the past. Their support of our legislation for permanent funding, was especially appreciated, only to have Governor Murphy veto it this past January.

    I find it so disturbing, that the director of the Sierra Club and Straus News would state such erroneous information that Greenwood Lake is closed to swimming because of algae blooms.

    There have been two different postings on Greenwood Lake by the NJDEP, the first was a Watch posting both at Brown’s Point and the shoreline on the west side of the lake from Belcher Creek to the North end of Fox Island.

    The second posting was an Advisory at Brown’s Point ( meaning no swimming at a public beach, caution for contact recreation, jet skiing, water skiing, etc.and do not drink the water or eat the fish).

    The Watch posting remained the same as previously stated (public beaches are open to swimming, use caution with all water activities and do not drink the water or eat the fish).

    The New Jersey area of Greenwood Lake does NOT have any public beaches, so in no way were beaches closed to swimming this season.

    Another thing I’d like to clear up, as stated by Mr. Tittel and your paper, is that the lake was closed last year and probably will happen again this year: The lake was Never closed last year and I certainly expect that it would not be closed at any point this year.

    You need to get your facts straight, as the businesses of our lake community, generally only have five to six months a year to make their livings and by your false reporting, causes great harm to their businesses and families.

    After last seasons financial disaster, with loss of recreational use of the lake and now with the virus issues added to the businesses and residents of our area, to continue this false narrative is unconscionable.

    Greenwood Lake, being one of the most important bodies of water in New Jersey, serving more than three million residents and thousands of businesses, is in desperate need of funding and support from all quarters, which makes this negative information all the more destructive.

    Thank you.

    Paul M. Zarrillo

    N.J. Co-Chairman

    Greenwood Lake Commission