Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) recently visited Bridge Marina in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey to discuss the controversial closure of the lake because of harmful algae blooms.
Ray Fernandez, president of Bridge Marina, says the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is overstating the algae issue, leading to an unnecessary level of concern.
“NJDEP standards are twice that of national standards and of neighboring states, such that the current levels that cause NJDEP to shut down beaches would be acceptable in other states and the federal government,” said Fernandez.
During her visit, Rep. Sherrill discussed communication issues with the NJDEP, met with constituents – including the mayors of Hopatcong and Jefferson Township – and inspected the water quality issue firsthand. Local elected officials encouraged Rep. Sherrill to help direct additional funding for protecting and improving the lake’s water quality.
While on the docks, Ray Fernandez highlighted the lack of boat traffic. “The rental business has been down about 90% since this swimming closure started. We have spent about 40 hours answering calls from the public, boating club members, and slip members because of the issue.”
NMMA encourages other members to work with them on scheduling visits with their respective elected officials; critically important opportunities for highlighting the recreational boating industry.