Gloucestercitynews.net--SOUTH JERSEY (9-18-19)--The Salem County Department of Health and Human Services announced that seven different bodies of water in the county had harmful algal blooms. These include Memorial Lake in Woodstown, East Lake and Avis Mill
Pond in Pilesgrove, Daretown Lake in Daretown, Elmer Lake in Elmer, Salem River, and Slabtown Lake. According to the DEP, there are 28 algae blooms confirmed and 22 still ongoing.
“Recent DEP testing show that New Jersey’s algae blooms are spreading south as we are approaching fall. Salem county has been added to the ongoing list of 28 bodies of water impacted by cyanobacteria. This is a record year for algae blooms and closed lakes. This is the failure of the DEP to clean up our lakes and get rid of this problem. From one part of the state to the other, algae blooms are impacted our lakes, beaches, and reservoirs. This is very concerning, especially since lakes affected in the beginning of the summer like Greenwood Lake and Lake Hopatcong are still seeing high levels of harmful algae,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
According to DEP HAB testing on Greenwood Lake on September 16, all areas of the lake indicate harmful algal bloom levels higher than advisory levels. HAB testing at Lake Hopatcong on September 12th showed that all areas sampled were above advisory levels. Other areas such as Deal Lake and Sunset Lake, Manasquan Reservoir in Monmouth County, Spruce Run Reservoir in Hunterdon County, Swartswood Lake and Lake Mohawk in Sussex County, Budd Lake in Morris County are still under advisory for harmful algal blooms.
“The summer is over and we are still seeing New Jersey’s algae bloom problem growing. Greenwood Lake is still closed and its algae problem is getting worse. We are seeing advisories still underway in lakes and water bodies from Salem to Sussex County. We will continue to see more of our reservoirs, lakes and beaches closed unless DEP step up and do their job.DEP need to prevent this from happening before climate impacts and weather get worse. DEP need to establish stream buffers and enforce real Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standards that limit pollutants in our lakes. We need tougher rules on stormwater management and bring back Septic Management Districts. We also need to reduce overdevelopment and sprawl in environmentally sensitive areas,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We need a holistic and integrated approach by communities, towns and the state. It will take political will to fund cleaning up stormwater and better management of the lake.”