By Anne Levin
There has been no swimming, boating, or fishing on Rosedale Lake at Pennington’s Mercer Meadows Park this summer. The culprit is the discovery of a harmful algal bloom (HAB), which has also closed the Spruce Run Reservoir in Hunterdon County and Lake Hopatcong in Morris and Sussex counties.
Stormwater experts blame the problem on a lack of watershed protections and stormwater management at the state level. But according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), updates to the state’s stormwater management rules, which were rolled back under the Christie administration, have been proposed and are pending adoption.
“This is going to be the summer of closed swimming areas. Rosedale Lake in Mercer County has now joined the list,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, in a press release. “The failure to implement proper watershed protections and stormwater management have allowed harmful algal blooms (HAB) to get out of hand. Lake Hopatcong has been shut down since June 27. The Spruce Run Reservoir has been off limits to swimmers for more than a month. Swartswood Lake was closed for a week in June before reopening. Overdevelopment and stormwater runoff are causing nutrients to pour into our lakes allowing the algae to thrive.” more