TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly Appropriations Committee today approved Assemblyman Jay Webber’s legislation (A3804) creating a fund to preserve New Jersey’s second largest lake.
“Greenwood Lake is a great natural, economic, and recreational resource for New Jersey, supplying more than 3 million of our residents with drinking water daily,” said Webber (R-Morris). “Establishing annual funding dedicated to this essential waterway and reservoir will ensure the lake is preserved and protected now and for many years to come.”
An interstate waterway, the lake stretches nine miles and straddles the border of New Jersey and New York. It feeds the Monksville and Wanaque Reservoirs, the major sources of drinking water in northern New Jersey. It is an important recreational destination for boaters, fishers, and swimmers.
The southern portion of the lake in West Milford Township is shallow and has been affected by the collection of sediment and weed growth that hurts water quality and boat navigation. The Murphy administration shut down the New Jersey portion of Greenwood Lake due to the presence of an algal bloom this summer.
Webber’s legislation calls for no new taxes or fees. It commits $500,000 annually to the bi-state Greenwood Lake commission from existing boat registration and renewal fees. The bi-state commission is permitted to use the fund for activities like dredging, weed harvesting, stump reduction, and invasive species control solely along the New Jersey side of the lake when there are no matching funds from New York to perform those activities on the entire lake.
“This will put resources directly toward environmental enhancement of the waterway, including water-quality improvement and weed harvesting,” said Webber. “Greenwood Lake deserves preservation, and the Greenwood Lake fund commits our state to that important priority.”
The Senate version passed 40-0 in June 2018. Earlier this year, the Assembly version was approved unanimously by the Environment and Solid Waste Committee.