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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2004

Contact: Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795

DEP COMMISSIONER TESTS THE WATERS

(04/74) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the Department has jump-started its statewide lakes water monitoring program with funding support from the Governor McGreevey budget. The program was discontinued in 1992 due to lack of funding.

"By restoring New Jersey's lakes monitoring program, Governor McGreevey has again confirmed his commitment to take the necessary steps to leave future generations in our state with waters that are drinkable, swimmable and fishable," said Commissioner Campbell.

Under its renewed ambient lakes monitoring program, DEP will sample New Jersey's lakes for excessive nutrient concentrations. Information obtained from the testing will be used to determine the status and evaluate trends in the state's water quality to track contaminated sources and to support local and statewide pollution control programs. DEP's Water Monitoring and Standards program will randomly sample 40 lakes a year for five years, resulting in the testing of 200 lakes statewide. Both man-made and natural lakes will be included in the sampling.

Phosphorus, nitrogen, chlorophyll, pH and other nutrients are among the parameters that will be sampled. Excessive nutrient concentrations can cause excessive algal growth and oxygen depletion, impacting the ecological and recreational conditions of a lake. Poor stormwater management practices and other nonpoint sources (septic tanks) are the most common cause of degraded water quality, causing an eventual decrease in fish and wildlife populations, diminished recreational opportunities and lower property values for New Jersey citizens.

DEP's revised stormwater regulations, which were adopted in February, require municipalities to take measures to reduce stormwater runoff. Under the regulations, municipalities must take common sense steps to limit nonpoint source pollution such as limiting unnecessary pesticide and fertilizer treatments of lawns, properly disposing of yard and pet waste, retrofitting of storm sewer grates and better managing of municipal maintenance yards.

Governor James E. McGreevey reaffirmed his commitment to increasing water quality by approving 1.5 million dollars of corporate business tax (CBT) funds for water monitoring. Specifically, DEP's Water Monitoring and Standards program will increase the frequency of toxics monitoring in streams and rivers and improve the bacterial source trackdown program for detecting bacteria from sewage spills and nonpoint sources.

It is important that our water quality assessments be based on sound, up-to-date scientific information," said Commissioner Campbell. "By expanding our water monitoring program, we will be better prepared to address those pollution sources that continue to threaten the ecological integrity of our state's waterbodies."

At the end of the five-year period, the Department will return to the first 40 lakes and begin the sampling project again, providing important information about trends in lake water quality.

As the results of the sampling become available, they will be used to provide the public with information about our State's lake water quality. This information will also be incorporated into an integrated water monitoring and assessment report that will be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) once every two years.

The Department's water monitoring activities will be enhanced by volunteers from the Watershed Watch Network, a network of volunteers who aid the Department in all of its watershed monitoring efforts. The volunteers will be assisting the Department by taking samples and submitting that information to DEP for evaluation.

The first lake to be sampled on June 29, 2004 is Brainerd Lake located in Village Park, Cranbury Township, Middlesex County.

To learn more about DEP's Water Monitoring and Standards Program and this new lakes testing program, visit the Department's website at:
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/wmm/

To learn more about the Watershed Watch Network visit:
http://www.nj.gov/dep/watershedmgt/volunteer_monitoring.htm

Below is a list of proposed lake sampling sites. The sites have not yet been confirmed by the Department.

NAME   COUNTY   MUNICIPALITY
Moss Mill Lake   ATLANTIC   GALLOWAY TWP
Hubers Lake   BERGEN   OAKLAND BORO
Vincentown Millpond   BURLINGTON   SOUTHAMPTON TWP
Long Lake   BURLINGTON   PEMBERTON TWP
Blue Lake   BURLINGTON   MEDFORD TWP
Silver Lake   CAMDEN   CLEMENTON BORO
Davis Mill pond   CUMBERLAND   STOW CREEK TWP
Burnt Mill Pond   CUMBERLAND   VINELAND CITY
Cedarville Block Sand & Gravel Company Pond   CUMBERLAND   LAWRENCE TWP
Menantico Sand Ponds   CUMBERLAND   MILLVILLE CITY
Butler Pond   ESSEX   LIVINGSTON TWP
Gilman Lake   GLOUCESTER   HARRISON TWP
Peddie Lake   MERCER   HIGHTSTOWN BORO
Brainard Lake   MIDDLESEX   CRANBURY TWP
Wampum Lake   MONMOUTH   EATONTOWN BORO
Indian Lake   MORRIS   DENVILLE TWP
Ledells Pond   MORRIS   MENDHAM TWP
White Rock Lake   MORRIS   JEFFERSON TWP
Pickerel Lake   OCEAN   JACKSON TWP
Lake Manetta   OCEAN   LAKEWOOD TWP
Fawn Lake   OCEAN   STAFFORD TWP
Bear Swamp Lake   PASSAIC   WEST MILFORD TWP
Lake Ioscoe   PASSAIC   BLOOMINGDALE BORO
Sylvan Lake   SOMERSET   MONTGOMERY TWP
Sunset Lake   SOMERSET   BRIDGEWATER TWP
Fairview Lake   SUSSEX   STILLWATER TWP
Lake Ashroe   SUSSEX   SANDYSTON TWP
Lake Stockholm   SUSSEX   HARDYSTON TWP
Highland Lake   SUSSEX   VERNON TWP
Pleasant Valley Lake   SUSSEX   VERNON TWP
Wapalanne Lake   SUSSEX   SANDYSTON TWP
Fox Hollow Lake   SUSSEX   SPARTA TWP
Deer Park Pond   WARREN   ALLAMUCHY TWP
Bass Lake   WARREN   HARDWICK TWP

 

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