On Monday, September 19, 2016, over 120 people packed the Jefferson High School to hear about NJDEP proposed changes to preserve the lake level and to voice their opinions.
As a reminder, NJDEP is looking to implement two changes as a pilot starting this winter, and into the spring of 2017.
Those changes are:
- Reduce the annual winter drawdown from 26” to 22, which would save an additional four inches of the lake level.
- Reduce the outflow from the lake in the spring, when conditions merit the change
To help us better understand the results of the NJDEP meeting, we spoke with Ray Fernandez, owner of Bridge Marina, since he has been actively working this issue for over a decade.
Ray, shared with us his follow-up communications with NJDEP.
“It was rather clear the overwhelming sentiment from stakeholders and lakefront property owners was to support the proposed annual drawdown change, keep the lake full, and dramatically alter or cancel the five-year five-foot drawdown. It has taken some time to get the public and DEP to fully understand and embrace the importance of water level on the lakes environment and community, even over their individual needs or wants, and I am very glad to see this paradigm shift from stakeholders and in the DEP. I think there finally is a great opportunity here for a plan that will safeguard the lake for future generations.”
Ray also added, “It has been 11 seasons, countless hours, and tens of thousands of dollars we have spent working /fighting/negotiating with the DEP to safeguard our lakes water...and although this change in the management plan seems minor, it has some major future value for our community. I am pleased with this change, and I am excited to see what else we can do.”
If you were not able to make the NJDEP meeting, you are encouraged to send their comments via email to LHWLMPproposalcomment@dep.nj.gov before October 18, 2016