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                    [post_content] => July is Lakes Appreciation Month! This national initiative was started in 1998 by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) as a way to draw attention to the value and importance of lakes and reservoirs, and encourage people to take action in appreciating and protecting our precious water resources.

We’ve put together four tips to help you celebrate:

1. Love Your Lake.

Whether you enjoy birding, photography, boating, paddle boarding or simply taking a leisurely stroll in nature, one of the best ways to celebrate your local lake is getting outside to enjoy your favorite lake-related outdoor activities. Check your local lake association calendar for upcoming community events. Invite a friend or family member out for a day of environmentally-friendly fishing. If you're in Pennsylvania, consider joining PALMS at Blue Marsh Lake for a community full moon paddle-out. If you photograph your adventures, share them on social media using the hashtag: #LakesAppreciation, and hopefully you’ll inspire others to show their lake appreciation too.


2. Join the Secchi Dip-In.

The “Secchi Dip-In” is an annual citizen science event where lake-goers and associations across North America use a simple Secchi disk to monitor the transparency or turbidity of their local waterway. Created and managed by NALMS, volunteers have been submitting information during the annual Dip-In since 1994. NALMS invites you to join this international effort to track changes in water quality! Get all the Dip-In details here. And, for detailed instructions for how to use a Secchi disk, check out this NALMS student video.


3. Enter the NALMS Short Clips Video Contest.

NALMS is hosting a Lakes Appreciation Short Clips Video Contest. Create a 140-second video that best illustrates your love for lakes and inspires others to appreciate lakes too! Submit your clip to the NALMS Twitter feed (@NALMStweets) using the hashtag: #LakesAppreciation. A Twitter poll of the general public will be used to determine the winner. First place gets a $50 Visa gift card. The submission deadline is July 31, polling will run through the month of August, and the winner will be announced August 31, 2022. Click here for more details. And, to see the winning entries from a previous Lakes Appreciation photo contest, go here.


4. Learn About Lakes.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsJBSNZ26no[/embed]

You can support your favorite lake by educating yourself about how to monitor the condition of the lake, identify harmful algal blooms (HABs) and invasive species, and engage in activities that protect water quality and improve fish and wildlife habitat. Consider becoming a member of or volunteering for your lake or watershed association. Learn how to track and report HABs. And, take part in educational opportunities to learn about lake management, like our recent live Q&A session with Princeton Hydro's resident lake experts Dr. Fred Lubnow and Chris L. Mikolajczyk, CLM.


To learn about NALMS and get more ideas on how to celebrate your local lakes, click here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Princeton Hydro’s broad range of award-winning lake management services, click here. And, if you're interested in reading about our work to reduce HABs and increase biodiversity in Lake Latonka, click here.

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The New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA) held its Annual Conference in Lake George, NY on April 29th and 30th.

This year’s conference, which was titled, “Maximizing Your Lake Data,” featured a diverse exhibitor hall, networking events, a silent auction, a student poster session and a variety of presentations and workshops. Princeton Hydro, a proud sponsor of the conference, led four presentations and exhibited.

[gallery link="none" ids="10811,10812,10810"]  

Below, we provide more information and a free download of each presentation:

Presentation Title: The Value of Developing a Long Term Database for Lakes and their Management Presentation By:  Senior Technical Director of Ecological Services, Dr. Fred Lubnow Learn more and download the presentation.  

Presentation Title: Assessing Trends and Quantifying the Internal Phosphorous Load of Lake Hopatcong Utilizing a 30-Year Continuous Database

Presentation By: Princeton Hydro Environmental Scientist Pat Rose, Senior Aquatic Ecologist Paul Cooper and Senior Technical Director of Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow Learn more and download the presentation.   Presentation Title: CSLAP and Customized Monitoring - How Additional Data is Helping Sleepy Hollow Lake Presentation By: Princeton Hydro Senior Project Manager Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM & Staff Scientist Jesse Smith along with Laurel Wolfe of The Association of Property Owners of Sleepy Hollow Lake Learn more and download the presentation.   Presentation Title: The Importance of Hands-On Field Education and Exposure with Regards to Monitoring Data Presentation By:  Princeton Hydro Senior Project Manager Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM and Dr. Curt Stager of Paul Smiths College Learn more and download the presentation.    

NYSFOLA was founded in 1983 by a coalition of lake associations concerned about water quality, invasive species, and other issues facing New York's lakes. NYSFOLA, which has 200+ members across the state, is the only NY-statewide voice for lakes and lake associations. NYSFOLA is an Affiliate of the North American Lake Management Society, for which Chris Mikolajczyk is the current Board President.

For more information about NYSFOLA and the Annual Conference, click here. To read about some of Princeton Hydro's upcoming events, click here.

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The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) hosted its 3rd Annual Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Summit! The all-day, virtual seminar included expert presentations and facilitated open-forum discussions related to HAB science, monitoring, response, management, treatment and communication.

Approximately 220 people from around the country participated in the virtual summit, which was free and open to the public. The audience of stakeholders included government officials (local, state, federal); lake and other environmental commissions; watershed associations; environmental nonprofits; businesses; academics; lake management and HAB treatment experts; and folks interested in protecting their community lakes.

Participants heard presentations about “Keeping Your Pets Safe from HABs,” “The Benefit of Riparian Buffers;” and “Stormwater Management and the Use of Green Infrastructure.” Additionally, two members of the NJDEP HAB Expert Team - Dr. Fred Lubnow Director and Dr. Meiyin Wu - gave a presentation on best management practices to prevent, mitigate, and/or control HABs. The 10-person expert team was established as part of Governor Phil Murphy’s plan to enhance scientific expertise around water quality management and bolster the State’s response to HABs.

The Governor’s HABs Initiative was launched in 2019 after lakes throughout NJ (and the entire Continental U.S.) suffered from HAB outbreaks, which caused local and county health agencies to close off all beaches and issue advisories. These unprecedented conditions had significant negative impacts on lake-related ecological, recreational, and economic resources. The Governor’s initiative designated $13 million in funding to local communities for HABs reduction/prevention; established the aforementioned HABs expert team; and coordinated annual HABs summits in order to encourage continued community education and discussion.

If you were unable to attend the 2022 HAB Summit, NJDEP has made the complete morning and afternoon sessions available online:

Watch the Morning Session: 

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KzeIP4FY60[/embed]

Watch the Afternoon Session: 

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSfJXhcaPCo[/embed]  

The NJDEP Division of Water Monitoring and Standards has an entire website dedicated to HABs. Click here to access educational fact sheets, stay informed on HAB alerts and advisories, and report a HAB sighting.

For more information about HABs, watch a live interview with Dr. Fred Lubnow on Jersey Matters during which he discusses what steps should be taken to prevent HABs, and check out our recent blog:

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Lake Latonka is a 260-acre man-made freshwater lake in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. The lake serves as the centerpiece of the Lake Latonka community, and is used for fishing, boating, swimming, and a variety of recreation activities.

The watershed of Lake Latonka encompasses 8,000+ acres of rural land, which is comprised predominantly by agricultural type land uses (57%) and forest (27%) with low-density residential (12%) occurring along the immediate lake shores. The area is bordered by Ohio to the West and located midway between the cities of Erie and Pittsburgh.

[caption id="attachment_10338" align="aligncenter" width="841"] Photo by Lynne Annis[/caption]  

The Lake, which was formed in 1965, has been studied and managed in some form since its formation with a record of consistent management and study since the mid-1990s. This work has included water quality monitoring, academic study of the sediment transport to the lake, herbicide and algaecide applications, and the development of generalized guidance for lake management. Additionally, some advanced management and restoration activities were implemented, including the installation of a community sewer system and maintenance dredging of the lake's inlet area.

Despite these ongoing efforts, the lake has suffered from water quality impairments primarily due to excessive phosphorus from surrounding agricultural land that flows into the waterbody via stormwater runoff. These nutrients fuel algal growth and contribute to the increased deposition of sediment and nutrients at the lake bottom.

Over time, the increase in biological oxygen demand has led to anoxia (i.e. no oxygen) in the lake’s deep waters, which causes phosphorus to be ‘pumped’ from the sediments during the summer months. This process is termed ‘internal loading’ and leads to an acceleration of lake productivity that has fueled harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Recognizing the importance of the lake within the community, the Water Quality Committee (WQC) of Lake Latonka commissioned Princeton Hydro to perform an in-depth diagnostic/feasibility study and, based on the study's findings, develop a comprehensive Lake Management Plan.

The diagnostic/feasibility study, in accordance with USEPA protocol, also analyzed background data; collected site specific water quality and fishery data; and computed the nutrient and hydrologic load. The study also included trophic calculations, the development of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based) goals, and the establishment of site-specific management recommendations.

In order to meet Lake Latonka’s water quality goals most expediently, Princeton Hydro recommended five primary management measures:

  1. Phosphorus Loading Mitigation
  2. Biomanipulation
  3. Management of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
  4. Waterfowl Management
  5. Regular Water Quality Monitoring and Testing.

Phosphorus Loading Mitigation

Although phosphorus is a nutrient utilized for plant growth, excessive phosphorus in waterbodies has problematic effects in that it speeds up weed production, reduces water quality, and can lead to HABs. One of the most sustainable means of controlling nuisance weed and algae proliferation is to control phosphorus inputs or reduce the availability of phosphorus for biological uptake and assimilation.

For Lake Latonka, Princeton Hydro recommended an alum treatment as a primary method for reducing internal phosphorus loading. Alum (aluminum sulfate) is a commonly used nutrient inactivation product that controls the internal recycling of phosphorus from the sediments of the lake bottom. On contact with water, the alum binds with the phosphorus so it can no longer be used as food by algae. On the bottom of the lake, the alum creates a barrier that prevents the phosphorus from releasing into the lake’s sediments under anoxia.

In addition, recommendations were made to address phosphorous loading from the larger agricultural watershed. These recommendations lead to the formation a Watershed Sub-Committee, which has been monitoring water quality and identifying nutrient-loading "hot spots." As these areas are discovered, the community will work with local stakeholders to recommend watershed best management practices (BMPs) to reduce phosphorus and sediment loading at the source.

Biomanipulation

The diagnostic/feasibility study revealed a major change in Lake Latonka from a previous fishery study conducted in 2016: the establishment of gizzard shad. The gizzard shad, not found in any previous surveys, represented 29% of the total catch in the 2020 survey. These fish can, if present in significant densities, outcompete beneficial fish and aquatic species and alter the zooplankton population, which can lead to water quality impairment, HABs, and cyanobacteria.

Biomanipulation in lake management refers to the deliberate alteration of the lake’s ecosystem by adding or removing species. One of the main recommendations for Lake Latonka is to control the gizzard shad population by stocking the lake with hybrid striped bass (Morone saxatilis x Morone chrysops), which is a cross between striped bass and white bass that are not able to reproduce. The plan includes measures to bolster the walleye, largemouth bass, black crappie, and panfish populations to offer a robust recreational fishery. This "top down" approach to nutrient management serves as a complementary effort to the aforementioned phosphorus loading mitigation activities.

Management of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation

[caption id="attachment_10336" align="alignright" width="273"] Photo by Lynne Annis[/caption]

As phosphorus is reduced and water quality conditions improve, algae will diminish in abundance and water clarity will improve, and the shallow areas of the lake will become excellent habitat for increased growth of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).

SAV is a critical component of a healthy lake and important habitat for juvenile fish and invertebrates. Additionally, SAV serves to precipitate suspended solids and assimilates nutrients that may otherwise be taken up by algae for growth. Still, elevated levels of SAV may prove to hinder recreational use of the lake.

The Plan for Lake Latonka recommends regular SAV surveys in order to monitor densities, document species composition, and ensure proper management. As SAV increases, pragmatic, measured management will be recommended to maintain an optimal balance of plant growth while allowing for recreational lake access.

Waterfowl Management

Resident populations of Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) contribute acute sources of nitrogen, phosphorus, and bacteria to lakes via waste products.

Using loading coefficients derived from scientific literature, in combination with Canada geese population surveys, the team determined the approximate phosphorus load being contributed by the resident goose population each year is 88.6 lbs per year.

The Plan recommends a variety of deterrent/harassment actions as permitted through Federal and State agencies in order to minimize the resident population of these waterfowl.

Regular Water Quality Monitoring and Testing

The Management Plan also provided recommendations for routine water quality monitoring related to nutrient concentrations, algal types and densities, and safety for lake users. Lake monitoring helps track changes in water quality over time and is utilized to objectively assess the impacts of prescribed management measures. In this manner, monitoring can help to address potential issues before they become large problems.

Specifically, Princeton Hydro recommended growing season monitoring, which entails monitoring for five months each year, in order to build a lake water quality database for nutrients, in-situ measures, and plankton. Additionally, the team recommends robust contact testing at the beach and open water for E. coli sampling, fecal coliform, and cyanotoxins.

[caption id="attachment_10339" align="aligncenter" width="793"] Photo by Jim Janzig[/caption]   Simply put, there is more to lake management than weed and algae treatments alone. A customized plan acts as a “blueprint” that guides proactive, long-term lake management and care while remaining flexible enough to adapt to new challenges that may arise. Our scientists, engineers, and Certified Lake Managers can assess the status of a waterbody and provide a holistic management plan that is based on the waterbody's unique physical, hydrologic, chemical, and biological attributes. A management plan identifies water quality issues, determines the causes of those issues, and provides the guidance needed to correct the issues. The results are far more environmentally sustainable than simple (and often unnecessary) reactive weed and algae treatments. During the Pennsylvania Lake Management Society Annual Conference held on March 2 & 3, Senior Aquatic Ecologist Michael Hartshorne gave a presentation about the the creation and implementation of the Lake Latonka Management Plan: If you're interested in reading more on the topic of lake management, click here: [visual-link-preview encoded="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"] [post_title] => Reducing HABs & Increasing Biodiversity in Lake Latonka [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lake-latonka-management-plan [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-28 12:58:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-28 12:58:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=10283 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9026 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2021-07-15 14:13:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-07-15 14:13:10 [post_content] =>

July is #LakesAppreciation Month - a great time of year to enjoy your community lakes. Lakes Appreciation Month was started by North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) to help bring attention to the countless benefits that lakes provide, to raise awareness of the many challenges facing our waterways, and to encourage people to protect these precious resources.

We’ve put together six tips to help you celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month and get involved in protecting your favorite lakes:

1. Join the “Secchi Dip-In” contest.

The “Secchi Dip-In” is an annual citizen science event where lake-goers and associations across North America use a simple Secchi disk to monitor the transparency or turbidity of their local waterway. Created and managed by NALMS, volunteers have been submitting information during the annual Dip-In since 1994. Get all the Dip-In details here.


2. Enter the #LakesAppreciation Challenge.

NALMS invites you to participate in its "Show Your Lakes Appreciation Challenge" social media #lakeselfie photo contest. The first place winner, who will be chosen on August 3, gets a $100 REI gift card, donated by Princeton Hydro. Click here to get all the details on how to participate.


3. Monitor and report algae blooms.

With the bloomWatch App, you can track harmful algal blooms (HABs) with your smart phone. HABs can produce toxins that can have serious negative impacts on water quality. Use bloomWatch to take photos of potential blooms, submit your photos through the app, and the info gets sent to relevant state officials for further action. Get more info here.


4. Commit to keeping your lake clean.

Volunteers play a major role in maintaining the health and safety of community waterways. If you’re interested in helping to conserve and protect your water resources, you can start by cleaning up trash. Choose a waterbody in your community; determine a regular clean-up schedule; and stick to it! Cleaning your neighborhood storm drains really helps too; click here to find out how


5. Support your local lake.

You can help support your favorite lake by joining or donating to a lake or watershed association. Lake associations monitor the condition of the lake, develop lake management plans, provide education about how to protect the lake, work with the government entities to improve fish habitat, and much more.


6. Get outside and enjoy the water.

There are countless ways to enjoy and appreciate your community lakes. During Lakes Appreciation month, take photos that illustrate how you appreciate your community lakes, share them on social media using the hashtag: #LakesAppreciation, and hopefully you’ll inspire others to show their Lake Appreciation too.


To learn more about NALMS and get more ideas on how to celebrate your local lakes, go here: https://www.nalms.org. If you’re interested in learning more about Princeton Hydro’s broad range of award-winning lake management services, go here: www.princetonhydro/pondlake

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Most of us are familiar with the famous quote "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” This sentiment is at the center point of the Highlands Act and Regional Master Plan, which provides funding to help New Jersey’s Highlands communities take a proactive and regional approach to watershed protection.

Historically, private lake associations and municipalities have worked autonomously to address water quality issues and develop improvement plans. Working together, however, and taking a regional approach to lake and watershed management has much farther-reaching benefits. Taking an integrated approach helps improve water quality and reduce incidents of aquatic invasive species and harmful algal blooms (HABs) not just in one waterbody, but throughout an entire region.

The New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council (Highlands Council) is a regional planning agency that works in partnership with municipalities and counties in the Highlands Region of northern New Jersey to encourage exactly such an approach. Created as part of the 2004 New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (the Highlands Act), the Highlands Council has funded numerous water-quality-related planning grants throughout the region.

“Watersheds are inherently regional; they don’t follow municipal boundaries. So the Highlands Council is in a unique position to address these challenges from that perspective,” says Keri Green, Highlands Council Science Manager. “It’s critical for municipalities to understand what is entering their lakes from the surrounding watershed before they can effectively address in-lake issues. Across the region, the stormwater inlets and roadways that encircle and affect lakes are owned and maintained by the municipalities, and when we can evaluate these inputs, we can plan for how to address impairments.”

In 2019, the Highlands Council funded a Lake Management planning grant for the Borough of Ringwood that adopted this wider watershed view, and would ultimately become a model for similar Highlands Council grants within the region. The Borough chose to engage the services of Princeton Hydro to support the project work.

“This regional approach to lake and watershed management is the obvious choice from a scientific, technical, and community point of view. Historically, however, this approach is rarely taken,” said Princeton Hydro’s Senior Project Manager, Christopher Mikolajczyk, who is a Certified Lake Manager and lead designer for this initiative. “We were thrilled to work with the Borough of Ringwood and the Highlands Council to set a precedent, which has opened the door for the Townships of West Milford and Rockaway, and will hopefully inspire the formation of more public-private lake management partnerships.”

Rockaway Receives Lake Management Planning Grant from the Highlands Council

Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey received Highlands Council grant approval in January to complete a Lake Management Planning Study. Eleven small- to medium-sized lakes in the township are working together for a watershed assessment and comprehensive regional analysis, which will lead to the creation of a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). The WIP will recommend and prioritize key watershed management measures that will have big impacts on water quality improvement.

Given the large number of lakes in Rockaway Township, and in an effort to keep the study to a reasonable scope, a selection process occurred with input from the Township Engineering office, the Township Health Department, Princeton Hydro and the Highlands Council. The lakes in the Rockaway Township Watershed Management Program include Green Pond, Egbert Lake, Durham Pond, Lake Emma, Camp Lewis Lake, Lake Telemark, Lake Ames, Mount Hope Pond, Mount Hope Lake, White Meadow Lake, and Fox’s Pond.

“Rockaway Township has been proactive about implementing watershed improvement projects in the past, so we were happy to provide funding to support continuing their efforts focusing on these 11 lakes,” explains Lisa Plevin, Highlands Council Executive Director. “It was a very productive collaboration with Highlands staff working in partnership with the Township to develop an approach and Princeton Hydro preparing a scope of work that met everyone’s goals.”

The watershed assessment will entail a number of analyses, including watershed modeling; hydrologic and pollutant loading analysis; watershed-based and in-lake water quality assessments; and tropic state assessments. The assessment aims to:

  1. Identify, quantify and prioritize the watershed-based factors which may cause eutrophication;
  2. Identify the watershed management measures needed to address general causes of water quality impairments;
  3. Identify the relative cost of the recommended general watershed management measures; and
  4. Generate a general schedule, based on priority, for the implementation of the recommended watershed management measures.

Once all the lab data is processed, the watershed modeling is complete, and historical data reviewed, Princeton Hydro will create a General Assessment Report that will summarize the data/observations and identify which watershed management techniques and measures are best suited for immediate or long-term implementation. The team expects to complete the General Assessment Report in the spring of 2022, after a year's worth of 2021 growing season data has been collected.

A Watershed Management Program is Underway in West Milford

In October 2020, the Highlands Council approved funding to support a watershed assessment of 22 private and public lakes in West Milford Township. The watershed assessment project is being implemented in two phases:

For Phase 1, which will take place throughout the course of 2021, Princeton Hydro will provide a historic data review; an examination of hydrologic/pollutant loads; a pollutant removal analysis; and watershed water quality analysis. The pollutants to be modeled include phosphorus, nitrogen, sediment, and bacteria, while the hydrology will include estimates of precipitation, runoff, evapotranspiration, groundwater flux, and ultimately streamflow or discharge.

This analysis will aid the Township in selecting, prioritizing and implementing nutrient and sediment load and stormwater management efforts with a focus on watershed projects that have the greatest overall benefit to the long-term management of surface water quality. The report will also identify examples of site-specific locations where wetland buffers, riparian buffers, and lakefront aqua-scaping can be implemented as part of future watershed management efforts.

For Phase 2 of the project, Princeton Hydro will investigate and assess the water quality of each of the lakes in West Milford Township during the growing season of May - October of 2022. This entails collecting bimonthly water quality samples at each lake, including in-situ water quality data consisting of real-time measurement of clarity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH. The sampling events will also include a general survey of aquatic vegetation and/or algae growth, lake perimeter shoreline observations, and monitoring for nuisance waterfowl. These surveys will provide an objective understanding of the amount and distribution of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and algae occurring throughout each lake over the course of the growing season.

The lakes included in this project are: High Crest Lake, Algonquin Waters, Lake Lookover, Kitchell Lake, Lindys Lake, Mt. Laurel Lake, Shady Lake, Wonder Lake, Mount Glen Lakes (Upper/Lower), Carpi Lake, Pinecliff Lake, Van Nostrand Lake, Upper Greenwood Lake, Post Brook Farms, Farm Crest Acres, Mt. Springs Lake, Forest Hill Park, Johns Lake, Gordon Lake, and Bubbling Springs Lake.

Leading the Way on Regional Lake Management in Ringwood, NJ

At the end of 2019, the Borough of Ringwood became the first municipality in New Jersey to take a regional approach to private lake management through a public-private partnership with four lake associations: Cupsaw, Erskine, Skyline, and Riconda.

The Borough of Ringwood is situated in the northeast corner of the New Jersey Highlands, is home to several public and private lakes, and provides drinking water to millions of New Jersey residents. In order to take an active role in the management of these natural resources, Ringwood hired Princeton Hydro to design a municipal-wide holistic watershed management plan that identifies and prioritizes watershed management techniques and measures that are best suited for immediate and long-term implementation.

Princeton Hydro recently completed a comprehensive assessment of the lakes and watersheds of Ringwood Borough. The assessment included a historical data review, hydrologic and pollutant loading analysis and in-lake and watershed based water quality data studies. The report details the results of Princeton Hydro’s mapping, modeling, and monitoring efforts in each waterbody and its respective watershed, along with specific recommendations for management implementations that are aimed at curbing the effects of nutrient and sediment loading, both within the lakes and their respective watersheds.

“Ringwood, West Milford, and Rockaway are three great examples of how people from different affiliations and backgrounds can come together to address lake and watershed monitoring and management,” said Mikolajczyk. “The key to success is open communication and a common goal!”

To learn more about Princeton Hydro’s natural resource management services, click here. And, click here to learn more about NJ Highlands Council and available grant funding.

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We are proud to announce that Princeton Hydro Aquatics Director Dr. Fred Lubnow and Founding Principal and Consultant Dr. Steve Souza have been appointed to the New Jersey HAB Expert Team as part of Governor Phil Murphy’s plan to enhance scientific expertise around water quality management and bolster the State's response to HABs. 

The 10-person team, consisting of certified lake managers and cyanobacteria experts, will provide guidance to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) on HAB prevention, treatment, and management for waterways throughout the state. The team is tasked with developing documents on best management practices; reviewing any proposed mitigation plans and technologies; reviewing water-quality data; and preparing a training workshop for NJDEP staff and stakeholders. 

HABs are rapid, large overgrowths of cyanobacteria. These microorganisms are a natural part of aquatic ecosystems, but, under the right conditions (primarily heavy rains, followed by hot, sunny days), these organisms can rapidly increase to form cyanobacteria blooms. HABs can cause significant water quality issues, produce toxins that are incredibly harmful (even deadly) to humans, animals, and aquatic organisms, and negatively impact economic health, especially for communities dependent on the income of jobs and tourism generated through their local lakes. By appointing a team that will work solely on HABs in the state, New Jersey is taking proactive steps to combat the spread.

Dr. Fred Lubnow is Princeton Hydro’s Director of Aquatic Resources. His vast expertise includes aquatic and watershed management, restoration ecology, and algae ecology. He is regionally recgonized as a HABs expert as he has provided management recommendations and services for over 100 lakes and ponds in the Northeast, including Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey’s largest lake.

“I believe the knowledge and experience I have gained over the last 27 years as an environmental consultant will be useful in addressing questions and problems associated with HABs and lake management in general. I look forward to contributing any way I can in addressing issues associated with HABs and lake management in New Jersey.”


Dr. Steve Souza, whose 30-year career has been dedicated to the restoration of lakes and ponds, is a founding principal of Princeton Hydro and nationally recognized lake expert and consultant.

“Over the past decade the public has become increasingly aware of HABs and the health and ecological impacts caused by HABs. Unfortunately HABs and the problems caused by HABs are not going away;  they are only expected to get worse due to climate change related effects on storm events, increases in air and water temperature, and an expansion of the algal growing season.  It is thus important for us to learn more about what drives HABs as well as the most successful and sustainable means of avoiding, controlling and mitigating HABs. I am very excited to be part of the NJ Sea Grant HAB Expert Team. Through this very knowledgeable group of scientists, educators, and lake managers we hope to learn more about the causes of HABs and even more about what we can do to prevent or lessen their occurrence.”

  The full HAB Expert Team includes: 

All of us at Princeton Hydro are looking forward to seeing the work the expert team will undertake to improve the health, quality, and safety of New Jersey’s precious waterbodies. And, we extend a big congratulations to Fred, Steve and all other experts appointed to the team!

...

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This month we are launching the first blog in our Client Spotlight Blog Series! Each spotlight will feature one of our important client relationships in order to give you an inside look at our collaboration. We pride ourselves on forming strong ties with organizations that share our values of creating a better future for people and our planet. So we are excited to be able to share snippets of the incredible teamwork we've been able to accomplish over the years!

At Princeton Hydro, we value our client relationships, as the collaborative work we are able to complete with organizations like the Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF) reaches exponentially further than anything we could complete alone. One of the reasons our organizations have such strong symmetry is that our values align and complement each other.

As their mission states,”Lake Hopatcong Foundation dedicates itself to protecting the lake environment and enhancing the lake experience, bringing together public and private resources to encourage a culture of sustainability and stewardship on and around New Jersey’s largest lake, for this and future generations.” We are so proud to help protect New Jersey’s largest lake with LHF.

We have been working with LHF since its inception in 2012, which is why we are excited to feature them in our first client spotlight blog. We spoke with Jessica Murphy, President/Executive Director of the Foundation, and Donna Macalle-Holly, Grants and Program Director, to give you an insider look at the organization:

Q: What makes the Lake Hopatcong Foundation unique?

A: The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is unique in that our mission spans a wide spectrum of activities. In addition to projects that focus on the lake environment, we also take on initiatives that support education, safety, community-building, recreation, and even arts and culture. The lake is split between two counties and four towns, so bringing the community together for all these things is very important to us, in addition to making sure the lake itself is healthy.

Q: What does the Lake Hopatcong Foundation value?

A: During our strategic planning process, the board and staff developed a list of values that we go back to when operating and making decisions. They are:

  • Collaboration - We operate in a way that brings people together throughout the community.
  • Action - We are committed to our mission, moving quickly to take on projects that have an impact on and around the lake.
  • Sustainability - We are forward-thinking when making decisions, taking future generations into account when considering projects and initiatives.
  • Warmth - We are a friendly face to the community, showing the best of ourselves and bringing out the best in the people of Lake Hopatcong.
Q: How long have you been working with Princeton Hydro?

When we first started the Lake Hopatcong Foundation in 2012, Dr. Fred Lubnow was kind enough to do a water quality presentation as one of our very first events as an organization! In the years since, we’ve worked closely with Princeton Hydro, particularly in a support role as they conduct business with the Lake Hopatcong Commission. The Lake Hopatcong Commission is a state entity created in 2001 through the Lake Hopatcong Protection Act dedicated to protecting the water quality of Lake Hopatcong and to preserve the natural, scenic, historical and recreational resources of the lake. LHF funded Princeton Hydro’s water quality monitoring during the years that the Commission ran out of money

Q: What types of services has Princeton Hydro provided to your organization?

A: In addition to water quality monitoring on the lake, Princeton Hydro has led volunteer training for us in our efforts to prevent the spread of invasive species and to teach local students in our spring field trip program. Dr. Lubnow has also worked alongside us in applying for grants and in providing insight and expertise for other environmental projects at the lake, including helping guide the installation of floating wetland islands, and helping our NJ Lakes Group to work with NJDEP on Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) policies. He even did a quick fact check on our children’s book, Lake Hopatcong Speaks Out, before we published it!

Q: Do you have a favorite or most memorable project we’ve worked on together?

A: The days that Chris Mikolajczyk spent teaching our volunteers about how to find and remove water chestnuts from the lake were a lot of fun, particularly because we were kayaking on the lake for it! And, also because the kayak we provided Chris was too small for him, and he had to scrunch in to fit, but he was a trouper and paddled on.

Q: What are some exciting things your organization is working on right now?

A: We are working closely with Princeton Hydro and LHC on a series of projects, funded through NJDEP grants, LHC, LHF, and local governments, that we hope will prevent and mitigate HABs on the lake. Those projects include aeration systems, phosphorus-locking technologies, and stormwater infrastructure upgrades. We’re excited to see how effective each can be. Also, on August 7 at 12:30, Dr. Lubnow will be presenting the Lake Hopatcong water quality monitoring project results at LHF’s “Thirst for Knowledge” lunch-and-learn webinar series, which was created to share information and discuss topics of interest to our lake community. To register for the free webinar, visit lakehopatcongfoundation.org.

[caption id="attachment_5249" align="aligncenter" width="584"]Photo by: Colleen Lyons of the Lake Hopatcong Commission  [/caption] Q: What drives you to want to go to work every day?

A: All of us at Lake Hopatcong Foundation have a passion for this lake and want to see it protected; we have a love for the community that surrounds it, too. Jessica Murphy grew up on the lake, met her husband here, and now is raising her four children to love the lake, too. Donna Macalle-Holly also met her husband on Lake Hopatcong, lives on the lake, and has worked professionally to take care of it for nearly two decades. Everyone in our office has made memories on Lake Hopatcong and developed friendships with those who live and work here. Those personal connections fuel our passion for what we do.

Q: How can Princeton Hydro support you/your organization in the future?

A: Continue to be the incredible resource you are! We are so fortunate to have the deep knowledge and expertise that Fred and your entire team provide, and we look forward to continuing to work together in the years ahead.

[caption id="attachment_5286" align="aligncenter" width="576"]  [/caption]

Some recent projects we are/have been working on with LHF include installing biochar bags to help control phosphorus levels and applying Phoslock to help mitigate harmful algal blooms! Because of our history working on Lake Hopatcong, we too have gained a passion for protecting and maintaining this lake. This incredibly important work could not be done without the genuine devotion and dedication from the Lake Hopatcong Foundation. We look forward to continuing great work with this incredible group!

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Native plants on the floating island designed by Princeton Hydro that will help reduce the phosphers and algae in the lake at Frances Slocum State ParkLooking for a unique and creative way to manage nutrient runoff in freshwater lakes? Installing Floating Wetland Islands (FWI) is a low-cost, effective green infrastructure solution used to mitigate phosporus and nitrogen stormwater pollution often emanating from highly developed communities and/or argricultural lands.

FWIs are designed to mimic natural wetlands in a sustainable, efficient, and powerful way. They improve water quality by assimilating and removing excess nutrients that could fuel algae growth; provide valuable ecological habitat for a variety of beneficial species; help mitigate wave and wind erosion impacts; provide an aesthetic element; and add significant biodiversity enhancement within open freshwater environments.

“A pound of phosphorus can produce 1,100 lbs of algae each year. And, each 250-square foot island can remove 10 lbs of phosphorus annually.” explains Princeton Hydro Staff Scientist Katie Walston. "So, that's 11,000 lbs of algae that is mitigated each year from each 250 square foot of FWI installed!"

[caption id="attachment_4363" align="aligncenter" width="777"]This illustration, created by Staff Scientist Ivy Babson, conveys the functionality of a Floating Wetland Island This illustration, created by Staff Scientist Ivy Babson, conveys the functionality of a Floating Wetland Island[/caption]  

Typically, FWIs consist of a constructed floating mat with vegetation planted directly into the material. Once the islands are anchored in the lake, the plants thrive and grow, extending their root systems through the mat and absorbing and removing excess nutrients from the water column such as phosphorus and nitrogen.

The plants uptake a lot of nutrients, but the workhorse of the FWIs is the microbial community. The matrix used within the islands has a very high surface area and it promotes microbial growth, which performs the majority of the nutrient uptake. Additionally, the root growth from the plants continues to increase the surface area for the microbial biofilm to grow on. Both the plants and microbes acting together help optimize nutrient removal.

Princeton Hydro has designed and installed numerous FWIs in waterbodies large and small for the purpose of harmful algal bloom control, fisheries enhancement, stormwater management, shoreline preservation, wastewater treatment, and more. FWIs are also highly adaptable and can be sized, configured, and planted to fit the needs of nearly any lake, pond, or reservoir.

Greenwood Lake

Recently, the Princeton Hydro team completed a FWI installation in Belcher's Creek, the main tributary of Greenwood Lake. The lake, a 1,920-acre waterbody located in  both Passaic County, New Jersey and Orange County, New York, is a highly valued ecological and recreational resource for both states and has a substantial impact on the local economies. In addition, the lake serves as a headwater supply of potable water that flows to the Monksville Reservoir and eventually into the Wanaque Reservoir, where it supplies over 3 million people and thousands of businesses with drinking water. 

Since the lake was negatively impacted by HABs during the 2019 summer season, Greenwood Lake Commission (GWLC) has made a stronger effort to eliminate HABs and any factors that contribute to cyanobacteria blooms for 2020 and into the future. Factors being addressed include pollutant loading in the watershed, especially that of Belcher's Creek. The installation of FWIs in Belcher's Creek will immediately address nutrients in the water before it enters Greenwood Lake and help decrease total phosphorus loading. In turn this will help reduce HABs, improve water quality throughout the Greenwood Lake watershed, and create important habitat for beneficial aquatic, insect, bird and wildlife species.

“In addition to the direct environmental benefits of FWIs, the planting events themselves, which involve individuals from the local lake communities, have long-lasting positive impacts,” said Dr. Jack Szczepanski, Princeton Hydro Senior Project Manager, Aquatics Resources. “When community members come together to help plant FWIs, it gives them a deepened sense of ownership and strengthens their connection to the lake. This, in turn, encourages continued stewardship of the watershed and creates a broader awareness of how human behaviors impact the lake and its water quality. And, real water quality improvements begin at the watershed level with how people treat their land.”

The project was partially funded by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (NJDEP) Water Quality Restoration Grants for Nonpoint Source Pollution Program under Section 319(h) of the federal Clean Water Act. As part of the statewide HAB response strategy, the NJDEP made $13.5 million in funding available for local projects that improve water quality and help prevent, mitigate and manage HABs in the state’s lakes and ponds. The GWLC was awarded one of the NJDEPs matching grants, which provided $2 in funding for every $1 invested by the grant applicant. For this project, the GWLC purchased the FWIs and NJDEP provided the 2:1 cash match in order for the GWLC to implement additional HAB prevention and mitigation strategies in critical locations throughout the watershed.

Check out the photos from last month's installation: [gallery columns="2" link="none" ids="5117,5118,5113,5109"]

Over the coming weeks, our team will be in Asbury Park, New Jersey installing FWIs in Sunset Lake. Stay tuned for more! For additional information about floating wetland islands and water quality management, go here: bit.ly/pondlake.

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To prevent harmful algal blooms (HABs) in New Jersey’s largest lake, a clay-based nutrient inactivating technology called Phoslock, is being applied in Lake Hopatcong this week. This is the largest Phoslock treatment to occur in the Northeastern U.S. The Phoslock treatment, which is happening in the southern end of the lake called Landing Channel, is expected to take approximately one week depending on the weather conditions.

Over the course of the 2019 summer season, Lake Hopatcong suffered from large-scale and persistent HABs causing local and county health agencies to close off all beaches and issue advisories over large sections of the lake. These unprecedented conditions had significant negative impacts on the ecological, recreational, and economic resources of the lake and region. In order to combat HABs in this upcoming 2020 summer season, the Lake Hopatcong Commission has partnered with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, four municipalities (Jefferson, Hopatcong, Mt. Arlington, and Roxbury), two counties (Morris and Sussex), and their environmental consultant, Princeton Hydro, to develop both short- and long-term lake management strategies.

“The negative effects of HABs in our lake last year were numerous, widespread, and in some cases devastating,” recalled Donna Macalle-Holly of Lake Hopatcong Foundation. “It is imperative for every stakeholder to pool our resources to keep it from happening again. Collaboration is the only way to protect public health, as well as the health of New Jersey’s largest lake.”

In an effort to evaluate a variety of innovative in-lake and watershed-based measures to prevent, mitigate, and/or control harmful algal blooms in Lake Hopatcong, the Lake Hopatcong Commission was awarded a $500k grant as part of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) new $13.5M initiative to reduce and prevent future harmful algal blooms in New Jersey. In addition to the $500k grant, the aforementioned local government and nonprofit stakeholders provided $330k in matching funds to implement and evaluate a variety of ways to address HABs in Lake Hopatcong.

“Our lake community cannot sustain another year like 2019,” said Lake Hopatcong Commission Chairman Ron Smith. “Since the news of our grant award in early March, we have been working with our partners to make sure the projects are implemented in time for the 2020 season.”

This week, the water resource engineering and natural resource management firm, Princeton Hydro—a lake management consultant to Lake Hopatcong for over two decades—is implementing the first and largest innovative measure as part of the NJDEP HABs grant-funded project. This involves treating 50 acres of the southern end of the lake with Phoslock, a clay-based product that inactivates phosphorus in both the water column and the sediments, making this critical nutrient unavailable for algal growth. The Phoslock treatment, which requires proper permitting by NJDEP, is applied as a slurry and will be distributed from a boat. The slurry will temporarily make the water appear turbid, but should disperse approximately two to six hours after each treatment.

“We are expecting the Phoslock treatment to limit the growth of algae and therefore reduce the occurrence of harmful algal blooms in the lake this summer, keeping it open for recreation and business,” said Dr. Fred Lubnow, Director of Aquatic Resources at Princeton Hydro and leading HABs expert. “If this technology is deemed successful and cost-effective in Lake Hopatcong, we could set the precedent for large-scale HABs prevention in other lakes throughout New Jersey, and even across the nation.”

Developed by the Australian national science agency CSIRO, Phoslock is frequently used to strip the water column of dissolved phosphorus, as well as to inactivate phosphorus generated from deep, anoxic sediments. Recently, at a smaller scale, it has been shown to inactivate the mobilization of phosphorus from shallow sediments where there is a mobilization of phosphorus from both chemical and biological processes.

Algae uses phosphate, the biologically available form of phosphorus, as a food source to grow. When there is an excessive amount of phosphorus in a lake, algal growth can be dense and can negatively affect water quality. This excessive plant growth, caused by eutrophication, can both cause a lack of oxygen available, leading to fish kills, as well as produce harmful algal blooms with cyanotoxins, which are harmful to humans and pets.

[caption id="attachment_5095" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo credit: SePRO Corporation[/caption]

After Phoslock is applied, it sinks through the water column, binding phosphate as it moves towards the sediment. Once settled at the bottom of the lake, it forms a very thin layer and continues to bind phosphate released from the sediment, thus controlling the release of phosphorus into the lake. One pound of phosphorus has the potential to generate up to 1,100 lbs of wet algae biomass. However, 1.1 tons of Phoslock is capable of removing 24 pounds of phosphorus -- that’s over 26,000 lbs of wet algae biomass not growing in the lake for every 1.1 ton of Phoslock applied. In turn, Phoslock’s ability to suspend biologically available phosphorus is therefore a major step towards improving a lake’s water quality.

As part of the NJDEP HABs grant funding, the stakeholder group will be evaluating the relative effectiveness of this treatment strategy. Because of its shallow depth and separation from the main lake, the Landing Channel area was a good candidate for evaluation of this technology. Princeton Hydro will conduct pre- and post-treatment monitoring of the Phoslock treatment area in order to conduct an objective evaluation of the cost effectiveness of the treatment as a means of preventing the development and/or mitigation of HABs. If the study indicates that Phoslock is a cost-effective treatment, the Lake Hopatcong Commission may consider additional trials in other sections of the lake, if funding is available.

To learn more about HABs, check out our recent blog: [post_title] => Mitigating Harmful Algal Blooms at Lake Hopatcong: Largest Application of Phoslock in Northeast [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lake-hopatcong-phoslock-treatment [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-05-10 20:44:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-05-10 20:44:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.princetonhydro.com/blog/?p=5088 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 4 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1615 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2020-03-20 12:14:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-20 12:14:14 [post_content] => Photo from: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, water chestnut bed at Beacon Spring is officially here! Tulips will soon be emerging from the ground, buds blossoming on trees and, unfortunately, invasive plant species will begin their annual growing cycle. No type of habitat or region of the globe is immune to the threat of invasive species (“invasives”). Invasives create major impacts on ecosystems throughout the world, and freshwater ecosystems and estuaries are especially vulnerable because the establishment of such species in these habitats is difficult to contain and reverse. This blog provides an introduction to invasive aquatic species, including information that will help you prevent the spread of invasives in the waterways of your community.
Defining Invasive Species
Invasive species can be defined as non-native occurring in an ecosystem that is outside its actual natural or native distributional range. Although the colonization of an ecosystem by non-native species can occur naturally, it is more often a function of human intervention, both deliberate and accidental. For aquatic ecosystems some species have become established as a result of the aquarium trade, fish culture practices and/or transport of plants and animals in the bilge and ballast water of trans-oceanic shipping vessels. One of the primary reasons invasives are able to thrive, spread rapidly, and outcompete native species is that the environmental checks and predators that control these species in their natural settings are lacking in the ecosystems and habitat in which they become introduced. The subsequent damages they cause occur on many ecological levels including competition for food or habitat (feeding, refuge and/or spawning), direct predation and consumption of native species, introduction of disease or parasites, and other forms of disruption that lead to the replacement of the native species with the invasive species. As a result, invasives very often cause serious harm to the environment, the economy, and even human health. A prominent example is the Emerald Ash Borer, a non-native, invasive beetle that is responsible for the widespread death of ash trees. As noted above, there are a large number of aquatic invasive species. Some of the more commonly occurring non-native aquatic plant species that impact East Coast lakes, ponds and reservoirs include:
Understanding How Invasives Spread
Either intentionally or unintentionally, people have helped spread invasives around the globe. This is not a recent phenomenon but rather something that has been occurring for centuries. “Intentional introductions,” the deliberate transfer of nuisance species into a new environment, can involve a person pouring their home aquarium into a lake or deliberate actions intended to improve the conditions for various human activities, for example, in agriculture, or to achieve aesthetics not naturally available. Photo by: Tom Britt/CC Flickr, zebra Mussels adhered to a boat propeller“Unintentional introductions” involve the accidental transfer of invasives, which can happen in many ways, including aquatic species attached to the hull of boats or contained in bilge and ballast water. A high-profile example is the introduction of zebra mussels to North America. Native to Central Asia and parts of Europe, zebra mussels accidentally arrived in the Great Lakes and Hudson River via cargo ships traveling between the regions. The occurrence, density, and distribution of Zebra mussels occurred at an alarming rate, with the species spreading to 20 states in the United States and to Ontario and Quebec in Canada. Due to their reproductive fecundity and filter-feeding ability, they are considered the most devastating aquatic invasive species to invade North American fresh waters. They alter and diminish the plankton communities of the lakes that they colonize leading to a number of cascading trophic impacts that have especially negative consequences on fisheries. Zebra mussel infestations have also been linked to increased cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae) blooms and the occurrence of harmful algae blooms (HABs) that impact drinking water quality, recreational use, and the health of humans, pets, and livestock. Additionally, higher than average temperatures and changes in rain and snow patterns caused by climate change further enable some invasive plant species to move into new areas. This is exemplified by the increased northly spread of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillate), a tropical invasive plant species that has migrated since its introduction in Florida in the 1950s to lakes, rivers, and reservoirs throughout the U.S. Regardless of how any of these invasive species first became established, the thousands of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species introduced into the U.S. have caused major ecological, recreational and economic impacts.
Measuring the Impacts of Invasives
After habitat loss, invasive, non-native species are the second largest threat to biodiversity. According to The Nature Conservancy, “Invasive species have contributed directly to the decline of 42% of the threatened and endangered species in the United States. The annual cost to the nation’s economy is estimated at $120 billion a year, with over 100 million acres (an area roughly the size of California) suffering from invasive plant infestations. Invasive species are a global problem — with the annual cost of impacts and control efforts equaling 5% of the world’s economy.” Of the $120 billion, about $100 million per year is spent on aquatic invasive plant control to address such deleterious issues as:
  • Human health (West Nile Virus, Zika Virus)
  • Water quality impacts (Canada geese)
  • Potable water supplies (Zebra mussel)
  • Commercial fisheries (Snake head, lamprey, Eurasian ruffe, round goby)
  • Recreational activities (Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut, hydrilla)
  • Biodiversity (Purple loosestrife, common reed, Japanese knotweed)
Invasive species can change the food web in an ecosystem by destroying or replacing native food sources. As the National Wildlife Federation explains, “The invasive species may provide little to no food value for native wildlife. Invasive species can also alter the abundance or diversity of species that are important habitat for native wildlife. Additionally, some invasive species are capable of changing the conditions in an ecosystem, such as changing soil chemistry...”
Addressing Invasives
Our native biodiversity is an irreplaceable and valuable treasure. Through a combination of prevention, early detection, eradication, restoration, research and outreach, we can help protect our native heritage from damage by invasive species.
What Can We Do?
  • Reduce the spread
  • Routinely monitor
  • Document and report
  • Spread the word
Reducing the Spread:
The best way to fight invasive species is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. There are a variety of simple things each of us can do to help stop the introduction and spread of invasives.
  • Plant native plants on your property and remove any invasive plants. Before you plant anything, verify with your local nursery and check out this online resource for help in identifying invasive plants.
  • Thoroughly wash your gear and watercraft before and after your trip. Invasives come in many forms – plants, fungi and animals – and even those of microscopic size can cause major damage.
  • Don't release aquarium fish and plants, live bait or other exotic animals into the wild. If you plan to own an exotic pet, do your research to make sure you can commit to looking after it. Look into alternatives to live bait.
Monitoring:
Invasive plant monitoring is one of the most valuable site­-level activities people can support. Contact your local watershed organizations to inquire about watershed monitoring volunteer opportunities. For example, the Lake Hopatcong “Water Scouts” program was established to seek out and remove any instances of the invasive water chestnut species. If you are a lake or watershed manager, the best way to begin an invasive plant monitoring project is with an expert invasive plant survey to determine which invasives are most likely to be problematic in your watershed and identify the watershed’s most vulnerable areas. Contact us to learn more.
Documenting and Reporting:
It’s important to learn to identify invasive species in your area and report any sightings to your county extension agent or local land manager. For example, in New Jersey there is the Invasive Species Strike Team that tracks the spread of terrestrial and aquatic invasives and works with local communities in the management of these species. Additionally, consider developing a stewardship plan for your community to help preserve its natural resources. Princeton Hydro’s team of natural resource scientists can help you get the ball rolling by preparing stewardship plans focused on controlling invasive species and protecting the long-term health of open spaces, forests habitats, wetlands, and water-quality in your community.
Spreading the word:
Many people still don’t understand the serious implications of invasive species. Education is a crucial step in stopping the spread of invasives, which is why it’s so important to talk with your neighbors, friends and family about the hazards and ecological/economic impacts of invasive species. Also consider talking with your community lake or watershed manager about hosting an educational workshop where experts can share their knowledge about invasives specific to your area and how best to address them.   We encourage you to share this article and spread your invasive species knowledge so that together we can help stop the introduction and spread of invasive species.

[post_title] => Understanding and Addressing Invasive Species [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => invasive-species [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-04-22 11:53:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-04-22 11:53:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.princetonhydro.com/blog/?p=1615 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 11 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11034 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-07-01 06:24:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-07-01 06:24:42 [post_content] => July is Lakes Appreciation Month! This national initiative was started in 1998 by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) as a way to draw attention to the value and importance of lakes and reservoirs, and encourage people to take action in appreciating and protecting our precious water resources. We’ve put together four tips to help you celebrate:

1. Love Your Lake.

Whether you enjoy birding, photography, boating, paddle boarding or simply taking a leisurely stroll in nature, one of the best ways to celebrate your local lake is getting outside to enjoy your favorite lake-related outdoor activities. Check your local lake association calendar for upcoming community events. Invite a friend or family member out for a day of environmentally-friendly fishing. If you're in Pennsylvania, consider joining PALMS at Blue Marsh Lake for a community full moon paddle-out. If you photograph your adventures, share them on social media using the hashtag: #LakesAppreciation, and hopefully you’ll inspire others to show their lake appreciation too.


2. Join the Secchi Dip-In.

The “Secchi Dip-In” is an annual citizen science event where lake-goers and associations across North America use a simple Secchi disk to monitor the transparency or turbidity of their local waterway. Created and managed by NALMS, volunteers have been submitting information during the annual Dip-In since 1994. NALMS invites you to join this international effort to track changes in water quality! Get all the Dip-In details here. And, for detailed instructions for how to use a Secchi disk, check out this NALMS student video.


3. Enter the NALMS Short Clips Video Contest.

NALMS is hosting a Lakes Appreciation Short Clips Video Contest. Create a 140-second video that best illustrates your love for lakes and inspires others to appreciate lakes too! Submit your clip to the NALMS Twitter feed (@NALMStweets) using the hashtag: #LakesAppreciation. A Twitter poll of the general public will be used to determine the winner. First place gets a $50 Visa gift card. The submission deadline is July 31, polling will run through the month of August, and the winner will be announced August 31, 2022. Click here for more details. And, to see the winning entries from a previous Lakes Appreciation photo contest, go here.


4. Learn About Lakes.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsJBSNZ26no[/embed]

You can support your favorite lake by educating yourself about how to monitor the condition of the lake, identify harmful algal blooms (HABs) and invasive species, and engage in activities that protect water quality and improve fish and wildlife habitat. Consider becoming a member of or volunteering for your lake or watershed association. Learn how to track and report HABs. And, take part in educational opportunities to learn about lake management, like our recent live Q&A session with Princeton Hydro's resident lake experts Dr. Fred Lubnow and Chris L. Mikolajczyk, CLM.


To learn about NALMS and get more ideas on how to celebrate your local lakes, click here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Princeton Hydro’s broad range of award-winning lake management services, click here. And, if you're interested in reading about our work to reduce HABs and increase biodiversity in Lake Latonka, click here.

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