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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2004

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

DEP AWARDS TOWNS WEED HARVESTING MONIES FOR MUSCONETCONG

(04/104) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced funding in the amount of $28,000 to improve water quality and fishing and boating opportunities in Lake Musconetcong. The Lake Muscontecong Regional Planning Board will receive $14,000 for two consecutive years to pay for weed harvesting work.

"This action provides the Lake Musconetcong community stable funding over two years to properly manage the weed congestion problem," said Commissioner Campbell. "At the same time, our efforts with the regional board to address septic and storm water runoff in the watershed will reduce phosphorous pollution that is the primary water quality issue for the lake."

The Lake Musconetcong Lake Regional Planning Board is comprised of representatives from Byram, Netcong, Stanhope and Roxbury in Morris and Sussex counties. The funding will support weed harvesting and disposal and equipment maintenance.

DEP performed an analysis of the Upper Musconetcong watershed, which includes Lake Musconetcong and Lake Hopatcong, to determine the various sources of nutrients like phosphorous that cause excessive weed growth. DEP and the Lake Muscontecong Lake Regional Planning Board are using this information to take actions such as storm drain improvements to reduce the impact of runoff containing pollutants like lawn fertilizers.

Lake Musconetcong is 329 acres in size, with a mean depth of 1.5 meters (4.8 feet) and a maximum depth of 3 meters (10 feet). Lake Musconetcong is downstream of Lake Hopatcong, the largest lake in New Jersey at 2,686 acres. The Upper Musconetcong watershed covers 14,000 acres.

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