Gottheimer Meets with New Jersey Leaders as State Announces Steps to Address Harmful Algae Bloom – Major Issue for Businesses, Tourists, Residents in Lake Hopatcong & Greenwood Lake Region

Nov 18, 2019
Press

New plan is a win-win-win for the environment, local businesses, and state recreation

Above: Gottheimer and other New Jersey leaders meet to discuss ways to combat Harmful Algal Blooms in New Jersey lakes.

Today, Monday, November 18, 2019, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) met with New Jersey congressional, state, local, and environmental leaders as the State of New Jersey announced steps to combat Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Jersey’s lakes.

Within New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District, Greenwood Lake in West Milford faced Harmful Algal Blooms this past summer, which resulted in a no-contact directive from the state, impacting Fifth District businesses, families, and communities who rely on the lake for recreation, tourism, and their livelihoods.

Similarly, Gottheimer also noted that with Lake Hopatcong as the largest lake in North Jersey, its Harmful Algal Blooms are impacting the regional economy, affecting businesses and families in the Fifth District too. 

“I’d like to thank our state officials, especially those from my District – Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Wirths, Assemblyman Space – for working so closely together over the last few months to address the algae bloom,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) today. “I’m very grateful for the partnership and investment the state is announcing today to prevent another summer of algae that wreaked havoc on our lakes, our businesses, our residents, and our broader community. It will tackle everything from preventing run-off and improving sewer systems to prevention and treatment projects. Today’s actions are good for our environment, good for our economy, good for our eco-tourism, and good for the health and safety of our families. It’s a win-win-win.”

Gottheimer participated in today’s announcement at the  Lake Hopatcong Foundation along with Governor Phil Murphy, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Congressman Tom Malinowski, Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Hal Wirths, Assemblyman Parker Space, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, and local elected mayors and councilmembers.

Below: Gottheimer speaks with New Jersey State Senator Oroho, who has been working closely together with Gottheimer over the last few months to address the algae bloom issues, ahead of today’s announcement.

Gottheimer’s full remarks from the meeting of New Jersey congressional, state, local, and environmental leaders as prepared for delivery are below.

Thank you, Governor, for bringing us together, this morning, and for the thoughtful, concrete action you’re taking today. It’s always good to see my colleagues, outside of Washington. I’d like to thank our state officials, especially those from my District – Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Wirths, Assemblyman Space – for working so closely together over the last months to address the algae bloom. They’ve been great partners. And to NJ DEP, and especially to the Lake Hopatcong Foundation — thank you for all the work you do every day.

I’m very grateful for the partnership and investment the state is announcing today to prevent another summer of algae that wreaked havoc on our lakes, our businesses, our residents, and our broader community. Today’s actions are good for our environment, good for our economy, good for our eco-tourism, and good for the health, safety of our families. It’s a win-win-win. It will tackle everything from preventing run-off and improving sewer systems to prevention and treatment projects. I’m confident that these first steps will help stop and treat the Harmful Algal Bloom – and ensure that one of New Jersey’s great treasures – our beautiful lakes – will be filled this summer with families having a great time fishing, swimming, boating, and eating, as they should. 

While Lake Hopatcong may not rest directly in my District, as the largest lake in the region, the algae there has affected so many of my businesses, families, and communities, who rely on the lake for recreation, tourism, and their livelihoods. Also, not far from here, Greenwood Lake has faced similar issues. It’s why I’ve been so focused in Washington on clawing back more resources from the Moocher States to our state to help protect our air and water.

So, thank you Governor for taking these steps today, and for working across the aisle to make it happen. We simply can’t afford to ignore the algae bloom, because, if we ignore it, it will only keep growing, quite literally. 

After all, we are one Jersey, we share one environment, and that’s what I think has brought us all here together today. I know we will keep working together on this from the state level all the way down to our towns and boroughs — together. Let us know how else we can help.

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