By: Holly Odgers
We're calling on our community to help clean up our watershed for our "Healthy Lake, Healthy Community Day," Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to noon, at Hopatcong State Park. Everyone is welcome to take part in the cleanup, but those who have been participating in our Virtual Lake Loop Challenge may want to take this additional opportunity to get outside and be active!
Each spring, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation coordinates the Hopatcong State Park portion of the Musconetcong Watershed Association's annual river cleanup. The cleanup, which draws hundreds of volunteers to clean up at various locations along the Musconetcong River, from Lake Hopatcong to the Delaware River confluence, had to be postponed this year and is now being done as a "clean as you can” effort. Naturally, we’re pleased to be able to assist in this effort.
Believe it or not, the biggest source of water pollution today is not from factories and industry. More than 60 percent of water pollution comes from things like trash and litter, excess fertilizer, and pet waste, so each of us can do small things to help keep our water clean. Simple cleanups are an excellent tool for keeping our watersheds healthy.
When debris—plastic bags, bottles, cigarette butts, etc.—is tossed on the ground, it can get washed into storm drains and end up in our waterways. In addition to being unsightly, litter can harm aquatic life and decrease oxygen levels in the water when it decays. If we each take some time to clean up our communities, we can make a BIG difference.
We hope you can join us for our Healthy Lake, Healthy Community Day cleanup. Simply meet us in Hopatcong State Park's parking lot at 9 a.m. Together, we will pick up litter and debris in the park, as well as along the banks of the Musconetcong River. Be green and bring your own water in a reusable bottle. Gloves and trash bags will be provided. Masks are required when in groups.