September 03, 2021| Environment
By: Lake Hopatcong Foundation
Last week, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) confirmed a harmful algal bloom (HAB) at the WATCH advisory level (cell count 23,750) in Crescent Cove. A WATCH advisory is posted when the cell count reaches a level between 20,000 and 80,000. In comparison, in 2019, we saw cell counts as high as 180,000 in the same area. HAB testing results are available on NJDEP's HAB Dashboard. NJDEP will test again next week if the continuous monitoring buoys show continued elevated levels for potential HABs.
While we cannot claim a perfect summer and there is still much work to be done, we are heading into Labor Day weekend with only two localized HAB watches in 2021. In addition, lake experts, Princeton Hydro, have reported a reduction in the June mean total phosphorus concentrations in the lake by over 50%, compared to 2019. Many steps have been taken by the state, counties, and local municipalities, along with the Lake Hopatcong Commission and Lake Hopatcong Foundation, marking a period of unparalleled cooperation in working toward improving water quality and preventing HAB outbreaks. Below are just a few of them.
What can you do?
Everyone in our watershed makes daily decisions that can affect our lake. From deciding whether or not to fertilize your lawn, using native species in your landscaping, how to pave your driveway with pervious pavement, or what new dishwasher to buy, there are many different ways to live lake friendly. Find out more positive steps you can take to protect the water quality of Lake Hopatcong with our Lake-Friendly Living Guide.