December 17, 2020|
By: Marty Kane
Lake Hopatcong is part of the Delaware River Watershed. The lake is the source of the Musconetcong River which travels some 45 miles southwest from Lake Hopatcong emptying into the Delaware River south of Phillipsburg. The LHF is one of some 150 members of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed (CDRW) whose mission is to protect and restore the Delaware River, its tributaries, and its watershed. This past year we worked with the New Jersey section of the CDRW to recognize the importance of New Jersey’s lakes, many of which are within the Delaware River watershed.
Earlier this week, the CDRW conducted virtual meetings with some 20 New Jersey state legislators. The support of New Jersey lakes was one of five CDRW legislative priorities discussed with the senators and assembly members advocating for $2 million in the upcoming New Jersey budget to address issues (like harmful algal blooms) facing our lakes. While the New Jersey shore region has been a part of general NJ state funding for years, this would be the first time funding for the protection and management of lakes would be recognized through a line item in the New Jersey budget.
By becoming a CDRW legislative priority we have received the support and advocacy of such groups as the New Jersey Audubon, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and the Musconetcong Watershed Association. We are grateful for their support and will continue to work this issue with our legislators and the Governor's office. Our thanks to CDRW for very well-organized legislative visits and many thanks to Senators Bucco and Oroho as well as Assemblyman Bergen and Assemblywoman Dunn for taking briefings this week and expressing their strong support for Lake Hopatcong and New Jersey’s lakes.