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Josh Gottheimer

08/06/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/06/2020 15:25

Gottheimer Calls for NJDEP to Release State Investment to Combat Toxic Algae Blooms Harming Greenwood Lake Water, Local Businesses, Recreation, Residents

Above: Gottheimer visits Greenwood Lake today, along with New Jersey Chair of the Greenwood Lake Commission Paul Zarrillo (right) and local officials, to view toxic algae impacting the lake, recreation, and local businesses.

Today, August 6, 2020, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) visited Greenwood Lake with local officials to call on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to release investment to address the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) impacting the lake's water, local businesses and recreation, and North Jersey residents.

In November 2019, Gottheimer met with New Jersey congressional, state, local, and environmental leaders as the State of New Jersey announced steps to combat HABs in Jersey's lakes - including $13.5 million available for local projects that will improve water quality and help prevent, mitigate, and manage toxic algae. This was done in part using federal investment from the EPA's Clean Water Revolving State Revolving Fund.

To date, $2.5 million of this investment has been released to nine local demonstration projects throughout New Jersey.

Greenwood Lake has received $52,800 from this investment to help conduct studies and to build vegetative floating islands to absorb the nutrients in the lake that fuel HABs.

'This is a helpful start, but frankly it's just not enough. Today, as we deal with a pandemic impacting our local economy, it's clear that we must do everything at our disposal to protect the tourism and recreation economy in North Jersey - especially the local outdoor industry and related businesses that revolve around Greenwood Lake, where residents can adhere to social distancing,' said Congressman Gottheimer (NJ-5) today at Greenwood Lake. 'It's my understanding that NJDEP is close to releasing the additional $11 million in grant investment to New Jersey lakes - but, with most of the summer over, it's vital that this investment is released as quickly as possible. There is no time to waste.'

Gottheimer continued, 'I'm here today to call on NJDEP to release the $11 million in grant investment so that Greenwood Lake and lakes throughout the State can fight this toxic algae head-on and so we can protect our local economy throughout this crisis.'

Watch Gottheimer at Greenwood Lake today HERE.

In January 2020, Gottheimer and the Greenwood Lake Commission called for further emergency investment to combat toxic algae harming Jersey lakes, drinking water, and jobs.

In Congress, Gottheimer's provision recently passed the House to address the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) impacting many North Jersey lakes by ensuring a U.S. Geological Survey be reported to Congress on ways to combat toxic HABs like those found in Greenwood Lake.

Gotttheimer was joined today by West Milford Mayor Michele Dale, Passaic County Freeholder Terry Duffy, New Jersey Chair of the Greenwood Lake Commission Paul Zarrillo, and local lake officials and business owners.

Below: Gottheimer at Greenwood Lake today.

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