By Kyle Richter (LHF) – the new Executive Director of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation took a couple of minutes from his busy schedule to address several keys areas on Lake Hopatcong Funding and Lake Events.
Hello friends, I hope you are all having a fantastic summer! It’s hard to believe that we are already into August.
It sure has been a busy summer around Lake Hopatcong and the Foundation has been hard at work delivering on our mission of protecting the environment and enhancing the experience on Lake Hopatcong, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the work we have undertaken this summer.
But before I do, I must thank everyone involved in making our recent Set Sail Gala & Auction – my first in-person event here at LHF - such a success. It was a pleasure to meet so many of our supporters and discuss the ways we can all work together to make Lake Hopatcong the best it can be, for this and future generations.
One such way is continuing to offer learning opportunities aboard the LHF Floating Classroom. The floating classroom is back on the Lake after spending the last year dry docked, and we are excited to once again utilize this amazing tool to educate not only the community around Lake Hopatcong but communities from around the state.
On the advocacy front, we have been fighting tirelessly for dedicated funding for lakes in New Jersey’s annual Budget. I am happy to report that Senate Bill 3618, which would provide 10 million dollars in funding for New Jersey’s public lakes for fiscal year 2022, unanimously passed both the NJ State Senate and the NJ State Assembly – and is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature. The Foundation and our partners will continue our efforts on lake funding as we work to make this one-time bill an annual appropriation.
As we look towards the fall, the LHF will continue to build upon our strong partnership with the Lake Hopatcong Commission and the four municipalities around the lake as we seek grant funding for projects to help mitigate the impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms on Lake Hopatcong. While we have successfully implemented a number of projects, HABs continue to be an ever-present threat, but one that we are up to the challenge of facing to ensure our lake is safe and healthy, for all to enjoy.
We are also looking forward to the return of our annual Lake Hopatcong Block party on October 2, at Hopatcong State Park. it promises to be a great day to connect with family and friends -both new and old - to celebrate all facets of Lake Hopatcong life! There will be representatives from local businesses, non-profit organizations, community groups, crafters, and food vendors, and we hope you’ll join us to experience it all.
Hope to see you around the lake! Best, Kyle
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