U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer hosted a coordination call on July 28 to address Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) — toxic algae — affecting Greenwood Lake and harming North Jersey recreation, local businesses and residents.
Gottheimer and Greenwood Lake stakeholders discussed tools and resources needed to address storm water and runoff, coordinating efforts between state, local, and federal governments, and the need for investment to combat these issues.
The group also discussed the need for NJDEP to release the rest of the $13.5 million in investment that was pledged to lakes across the state to mitigate and prevent HABs. Only $2.5 million of the $13.5 million that was announced in November 2019 has been released thus far.
“It’s great to see Greenwood Lake open this summer and doing better,” Gottheimer said. “However, with our local economy already hurting right now, the lake is continuing to face some issues with toxic algae that must be addressed.
“I believe that we need to do everything we can to help combat this environmental crisis,” the congressman said. “Communities and livelihoods are on the line. We must stop this environmental crisis from continuing to wreak havoc on our water, our local businesses and recreation and our residents.”
Gottheimer was joined by New Jersey chair of the Greenwood Lake Commission Paul Zarrillo; New York chair of the Greenwood Lake Commission Floyd DeAngelo; Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club Jeff Tittel; Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Ed Potosnak; Public Policy Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Henry Gajda; Policy Director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition Elliott Ruga; Greenwood Lake Marina owner Elena Dykstra; Sportsman Marina owner Chris Leahy; Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce; West Milford Mayor Michele Dale; and a representative from the Passaic Freeholders.
In November 2019, Gottheimer met with New Jersey congressional, state, local, and environmental leaders as the State of New Jersey announced steps to combat Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Jersey’s lakes.
In January 2020, Gottheimer and the Greenwood Lake Commission called for further emergency investment to combat toxic algae harming Jersey lakes, drinking water and jobs.