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July 07, 2004 (rt23 news) - TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the Department has jump-started its statewide lakes water monitoring program with funding support from the Governor McGreevey budget. The program was discontinued in 1992 due to lack of funding.

"By restoring New Jerseyís lakes monitoring program, Governor McGreevey has again confirmed his commitment to take the necessary steps to leave future generations in our state with waters that are drinkable, swimmable and fishable," said Commissioner Campbell.

Under its renewed ambient lakes monitoring program, DEP will sample New Jerseyís lakes for excessive nutrient concentrations. Information obtained from the testing will be used to determine the status and evaluate trends in the stateís water quality to track contaminated sources and to support local and statewide pollution control programs. DEPís Water Monitoring and Standards program will randomly sample 40 lakes a year for five years, resulting in the testing of 200 lakes statewide. Both man-made and natural lakes will be included in the sampling.

Phosphorus, nitrogen, chlorophyll, pH and other nutrients are among the parameters that will be sampled. Excessive nutrient concentrations can cause excessive algal growth and oxygen depletion, impacting the ecological and recreational conditions of a lake. Poor stormwater management practices and other nonpoint sources (septic tanks) are the most common cause of degraded water quality, causing an eventual decrease in fish and wildlife populations, diminished recreational opportunities and lower property values for New Jersey citizens.

DEPís revised stormwater regulations, which were adopted in February, require municipalities to take measures to reduce stormwater runoff. Under the regulations, municipalities must take common sense steps to limit nonpoint source pollution such as limiting unnecessary pesticide and fertilizer treatments of lawns, properly disposing of yard and pet waste, retrofitting of storm sewer grates and better managing of municipal maintenance yards.

Governor James E. McGreevey reaffirmed his commitment to increasing water quality by approving 1.5 million dollars of corporate business tax (CBT) funds for water monitoring. Specifically, DEPís Water Monitoring and Standards program will increase the frequency of toxics monitoring in streams and rivers and improve the bacterial source trackdown program for detecting bacteria from sewage spills and nonpoint sources.

It is important that our water quality assessments be based on sound, up-to-date scientific information," said Commissioner Campbell. "By expanding our water monitoring program, we will be better prepared to address those pollution sources that continue to threaten the ecological integrity of our stateís waterbodies."

At the end of the five-year period, the Department will return to the first 40 lakes and begin the sampling project again, providing important information about trends in lake water quality.

As the results of the sampling become available, they will be used to provide the public with information about our Stateís lake water quality. This information will also be incorporated into an integrated water monitoring and assessment report that will be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) once every two years.

The Departmentís water monitoring activities will be enhanced by volunteers from the Watershed Watch Network, a network of volunteers who aid the Department in all of its watershed monitoring efforts. The volunteers will be assisting the Department by taking samples and submitting that information to DEP for evaluation.

The first lake to be sampled on June 29, 2004 is Brainerd Lake located in Village Park, Cranbury Township, Middlesex County.

To learn more about DEPís Water Monitoring and Standards Program and this new lakes testing program, visit the Departmentís website at:

To learn more about the Watershed Watch Network visit:

Posted by: Staff at
July 07, 2004


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