TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly voted today to advance Assemblyman Jay Webber’s legislation (A3804) creating a fund to preserve New Jersey’s second largest lake.
“Establishing annual funding dedicated to Greenwood Lake – a great natural, economic, and recreational resource – will ensure the lake is preserved and protected now and for many years to come,” said Webber (R-Morris).
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, major sources of drinking water for more than 3 million residents in northern New Jersey. It is also 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 a collection of sediment and weed growth that hurts water quality and boat navigation. This summer, the Murphy administration shut down the New Jersey portion of Greenwood Lake due to the presence of an algal bloom.
“This legislation 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.”
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 funds 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.
With today’s 73-0 vote in the Assembly, the legislation heads to the governor for his signature. The Senate version passed 40-0 in June 2018.