NEW JERSEY LAKE RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT
ADVISORY TASK FORCE
"To assess the quality of New Jersey's lakes"
Allenhurst, New Jersey
|DATE:||August 1, 2001
MEMBERS OF TASK FORCE PRESENT:
Assemblyman Steve Corodemus, Chairman
Senator Anthony R. Bucco
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora
Dirk C. Hofman
John Hutchinson III
James E. Mumman
Zina M. Gamuzza
Director of Communications
for Assemblyman Corodemus
Joseph M. Coyne
Bradley Beach 19
Ocean Grove 20
Deal Lake Commission 25
Hazlet Township 29
Robert Lee Hefter
Private Citizen 31
Fred S. Lubnow, Ph.D.
Princeton Hydro, LLC,
North American Lake Management Society 33
Deal Lake Commission 47
ASSEMBLYMAN STEVE CORODEMUS (Chairman): I'd like to wish you all a good morning and welcome you to the first Lake Task Force meeting here in Allenhurst. Let me first of all thank our host here -- the Allenhurst officials -- for permitting us to use this comfortable room. I hope everybody is comfortable here.
Some housekeeping things is that this meeting is being recorded. So, anybody that would like to speak during the meeting, we have little sign-up slips here. If you haven't signed up already and would like to speak, please do so. The slips are in the back of the room there, near the refreshments. If you're going to speak, don't be afraid, we're all friends here. Just come up to the front table and speak into the microphones. We don't have a public address system here, so I hope you can hear me in the back of the room. And for those of you that are going to speak and address the Task Force, you're going to have to speak loud, because you're speaking to us, and your friends in the back of the room might not hear you.
We have some slides that are going to be used with this presentation, and we're going to try and coordinate that so you can follow along with me.
This Task Force was established by Executive Order No. 115 by Governor Whitman in June of last year. The reason why we created this Task Force is, as the Chairman of the Environment Committee in the State Assembly and a member of the Budget Committee, I was noticing a pattern of piecemeal legislation coming through the Legislature from many of my colleagues from around the state that needed money desperately to restore their lakes around the state. It was done in a haphazard manner in that bills would be sponsored by my colleagues here in Monmouth County, the same thing in Morris County, and so on throughout the State of New Jersey. It became obvious to me, as Chairman and member of those two committees, that if we kept doing this, the State would quickly run out of money. The lakes would not be-- The lake problem in general would not be addressed in a comprehensive fashion. So I met with Governor Whitman at that time and her counsel and said we really have to do this on a statewide basis. We have to capture this problem, analyze it, create a strategic plan, and then address those problems.
The purpose of this Task Force is really fact-finding. We're not here from Trenton. We're here to help you as if we have the checkbook up here today to address all your problems. We're hoping that we can find some type of a common theme or pattern from around the state, identify that, and perhaps there would be some type of economy of scale that we can benefit by.
I know here in Monmouth County we have a wonderful water resource council that attempts to address these problems on a county-wide basis, but not unlike the rest of the state, they are strapped for funds. We're hoping that we can create, possibly, regional committees to address regional problems, organize them so that we can have some economy of engineering costs, some economy of logistics of mobilizing contractors and such to reverse the death of these lakes, which is called, scientifically, eutrophication.
Although this Task Force was established last year, it took us nearly nine months to assemble its members. They were done by appointment of the Governor's Office, by the Senate President, and by the Speaker of the General Assembly. This Task Force consists of 15 members; some are on their way here. Some were on vacation this summer and couldn't make this meeting, but will be at the future meetings. We have a representative from the Treasury, a representative from the Commissioner of the DEP's Office, the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust that you'll be introduced to shortly, seven public members, and four members such as myself from the Legislature -- two from the Senate, two from the Assembly -- each from different parties.
The purpose of the Task Force, pursuant to this Executive Order, is to summarize the information, approximate the number of lakes, as one of our missions is going to be defining exactly what is a lake. There are all different bodies of water throughout the state. Some are detention ponds that have arisen to the nomenclature of lakes. They have common problems in that of degradation within those specific bodies of water and what types of remedial actions can be taken.
One of the biggest problems that we're going to have to grasp is the actual cost. How much is it going to cost to reverse the eutrophication of these lakes that took decades to reach the state that they're in now? I think it's obvious to me, the Task Force members, and the public that we won't be able to do all the lakes at one time, but what's the best way to do that? What's the most logical way to do it? What's the most economical way to do that?
Once we do that, we're going to be making recommendations to the Governor and to attempt to identify a continuous funding source. One of the biggest problems is trying to identify, on a State basis, a funding source within a specific budget, and we deal-- Just like you do with your personal and your municipal and county budgets, we go from budget year to budget year. Obviously, we can't do that in this situation. We need a plan that's going to have some continuity and transcend individual budgets from year to year. And we're not looking only to State funds. Certainly, municipal funds have helped, county funds.
We're also going to be looking for Federal funds. It's obvious for the municipal leaders here today that with your budgets it's very difficult to appropriate money for a massive lake restoration project. The same thing applies in the county. We're hoping that the State and maybe we can pony up some Federal dollars from the Federal government, which hasn't really funded lakes in a long time, to contribute to reversing this process.
I'd like to introduce the Task Force members here, and we're going to have presentations from them. And perhaps we can just start from one end of the table and go around.
MR. MUMMAN: My name is Jim Mumman. Can you all hear me?
HEARING REPORTER: That is not for amplification, that is for recording.
MR. MUMMAN: Oh, that's for recording. I'm sorry. Well, we'll leave that up here. I think it will probably pick me up all right. Okay. I'll use this.
My name is Jim Mumman. I'm from New Jersey DEP. I represent Commissioner Shinn on the Lake Task Force. We're pleased to be here today in this beautiful town. I've never been in here. I'm very impressed by this city. I'm with the Division of Watershed Management, and I run all the monitoring programs in the state: groundwater, surface water, the marine waters, our shellfish waters, and another one of my programs is the Clean Lakes Program.
Also with me today, I'd like to introduce, is Bud Cann. Bud is the brains behind the Clean Lakes Program. A lot of you who might be in the audience, who have worked in Deal Lake and the other surrounding lakes here to obtain funding, probably worked very intimately with Bud over the years. Bud has the background -- he's been in this program for about 15 years with the lakes.
And what I'd like to do today is just to go through and give you just a fast overview of what has happened since 1977, since New Jersey had a Clean Lakes Program. And I'm going to go a little fast, because I don't want to take up a lot of your time. We're more interested, like the Assemblyman said, in hearing from you today.
(Mr. Mumman begins PowerPoint presentation)
So the program began, like I said, in '77. The first project was right down the road, Allentown Lake. That's in '79. We have since developed a lake inventory. There is 1200 lakes-- Now these are named lakes in New Jersey. There are many more lakes, and like the Assemblyman said, one of the ideas here is to find out and have a definition of what a lake is. There is 400 public lakes, say 100 private lakes, and what's very interesting in New Jersey is there's only about 60 of these lakes are natural lakes, natural occurring. What I mean by that is when the glaciers came back, way back then, they scraped out a rock, and water settled through springs or natural runoff. These are natural lakes. So you can see that maybe one of the problems here is that man-made lakes -- a lot of those have dams to them, and they become sediment traps.
The original inventory was developed in 1980. We're currently working on a GIS, that's a geographical information system-based inventory. And what that means is we can now identify the lakes using satellites. We can go to the lakes. We can get a true mapping. That's been one of the problems with the number of lakes in New Jersey that are unnamed: To find out where they are and identify them on a map. So GIS is going to help us a great deal. The GIS is also intertwined with a lot of other environmental features within the state, and also with like the Department of Transportation. They're putting all the roads on the GIS system. So one of the things is, we want to identify where these are, and we're going to need your help to do that.
We have regulations by which -- what they are is by which when we do get money from either the Federal or the State government or through a bond act, we can give the money out in a fair manner. So there are regulations that lay that process out. The process is important, because without the process, we cannot obtain the money. The Federal government, when they give you money, they want you to dole it out in a fair manner. So that's the reason for the regulations. What it excludes, though, is chemical treatment, which a lot of lakes and local lakes or private lakes use. They chemically treat the weeds or modifications or repairs to point source treatment plants. I don't believe there's any treatment plants now that go into any lakes that we know of in New Jersey. There may be one, but I'm not sure. I think that most of them are taken out, and they were put into some sort of land disposal. So I don't believe there's any left.
We have to be consistent with the regulations with U.S. EPA, that is if we get EPA money. We have to ensure that these regulations are current. The ones we have right now expire in January 2002. Through the EPA Clean Lakes Program-- And the reason I keep saying EPA's program again is, it's the string to get the money. We have to have local involvement. That's part of the regulations. We have to have a comprehensive long-term program. We have to provide funding for a Phase I study or feasibility. What that means is, we have to identify the problems first before we can spend the bulk of the money, which is on structural type of solutions. That is the Phase II implementation.
I think we have some money now that -- right down the road here on Deal Lake -- that you're doing some dredging in the lake from another bond fund. That's a Phase II project. The Phase I was to identify that dredging was needed. Again, Phase I, we determine the current condition of the lake, sources or problems, and develop a management plan to address those problems.
The Phase II again is, we implement the recommendations of the Phase I, examples against storm water management, erosion control, institutional arrangements, zoning ordinances to control storm water. Pets have problems with lakes sometimes. Dredging is a big issue. That's the big dollar issue. That's the real big dollar issue. It's getting more expensive to find areas to take dredge spoils to -- and weed harvesting and biological controls.
Unfortunately, the EPA regulations -- it's limited to public lakes. That's where most of our money is won, or all of our money is won. The requirements are financial involvements by either the State or local governments, and the participation is voluntary. So, when this money is available, we send out notices through proper channels, the register, and people come in and follow the regulations to apply for the money.
There are 48 projects that have received funding in New Jersey. Fifteen are Phase I, 25 are the Phase II projects, and we just put what the Assemblyman was talking about; there were 8 special appropriations by the Legislature. Total spent by project types: 1.06 million in Phase I projects. And it's important to note that you need a Phase I before you can get a Phase II. That has been some of the misunderstandings. We wanted to identify the problems before we gave money out to the Phase II projects. So a lot of people spent their own money besides the Federal money on identifying the problems at their lakes. The Phase II projects -- you can see there's 25. That's where the bulk of the money is spent. And special appropriations were 1.03 million. There are a variation of lakes around the state.
Again, total by agency-- It's just important to show you the amount of money here that's involved, and I'm going to tell you this isn't a lot of money for lakes. But EPA, we have 5.9 million. The State has put in 4.3, and the local governments of $3 million.
Again, the sources of funding were the Clean Lakes Program by U.S. EPA. Again, the last funding was 1994. New Jersey Clean Lakes Program -- the last funding for the Clean Lakes Program appropriation was in 1988. Again, the local agencies, it's their combined cash or in-kind service. An in-kind service is where local engineers work for the townships, put their time in. That counts as part of the match for any funding.
The Clean Lakes awards -- you can see Monmouth County has done pretty good. There's a great overlap there in the past, and that's because of their involvement. I mean, Monmouth County is to be commended. They have a good water resources group, very concerned about their lakes, and they've been out front. So more power to you.
The '96 bond -- now this is another one--
Assemblyman, I think you were a cosponsor of this, weren't you?
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Prime sponsor.
MR. MUMMAN: Yes. This is a dredging act of money for the harbor. About out of that was carved out $5 million for lake restoration. I'm going to be a little fast through this. This is a little different, because what happened here, the Legislature, besides public lakes, looked at State-owned lakes, and also at this time, private lakes. There was a loan program of which we funded three private lakes for cleanup, and that is a loan. They have to pay the money back. The others were grants.
Again, the format was identical to the -- when we got money from EPA -- if you needed a Phase I or a diagnostic or what's the problem with your lake. And then the Phase II was, again, was what I call the structural alternative, when you dredge or you do something that you put a shovel into the ground.
The bond act projects -- we'll put them up real quickly for you. You can see in this area, we had Deal Lake, Fletcher Lake, Lake Como. Is that the one in this area, Bud?
MR. CANN (Mr. Mumman's Staff): Como, Budd.
MR. MUMMAN: Bud got his own lake funded there, Budd Lake, up top. (laughter)
Current conditions of New Jersey lakes: In 1997, we summarized the existing data to evaluate conditions of lakes, and we looked at 116 lakes. The lower map over there, it says the status of New Jersey lakes is those lakes. And what we found out was that the condition of New Jersey lakes aren't that good. Eutrophication, like the Assemblyman said, is a process by which a lake is -- you might call it dying or is going into less than a state we would not like to see it: a lot of weed growth; it's filling in with sediment; the fish can't live; oxygen is being used up in the lake.
Of the 116 lakes, 113 were in that condition. Only 3 were metatrophic. Those three were, I think, Atsion Lake, in Burlington County; Tuckahoe Lake, in Cape May County and a State Park; and Turn Mill Lake, in Ocean County. So, in that stage, we didn't have a lot of funding to continue this, but of course we were looking at the process when we determined that -- how many more lakes are we going to study and come up with the same conclusion. The lakes in New Jersey are in bad shape.
And let me say something about eutrophication. Eutrophication isn't a bad thing. It's a bad thing when it gets accelerated. Eutrophication is good. You need the fish. You need a food chain. They need plant life to feed on. They need cover. It's when it gets hypered or too much of nutrients, say, is one thing that people associate eutrophication with. You have too much going in. The lake fills in. It gets shallow, and then eutrophication accelerates. So it isn't-- When you hear that word, just remember, it isn't exactly always a bad thing, except when it's accelerated.
The EPA's evaluations -- again, we were limited to public lakes. We had public funding. We had some data that was very old, back to 1977. The data checked is varied. We were looking at some comprehensive monitoring efforts; some were a snapshot, and some we had problems. People reported this to us. We knew there were known problems.
(Mr. Mumman concludes PowerPoint presentation)
And I'll stop there.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you.
Bud, are you going to make a presentation?
MR. CANN: Oh, no. I'm going to defer.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: You can just introduce yourself.
MR. CANN: My name is Bud Cann. I work for Jim, and I'm involved in the lakes program, 15 to 18 years. If you've called about lakes, you've probably spoken to me.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Reed.
ASSEMBLYMAN GUSCIORA: Good morning, Mr. Chairman. My name is Reed Gusciora. I'm the Assemblyman in the 15th Legislative District, which is Mercer County. We even have a couple of lakes out there -- Lake Carnegie in Princeton, Lake Colonial in Lawrenceville. So I'm interested in this issue, especially from the viewpoint of my constituency. I'm pleased to find out that the Chair is even going to have a subsequent meeting in my district.
Today is actually a good day for New Jerseyeans, because Governor Whitman at the EPA ordered GE to clean up the Hudson River, the PCBs that are on the bottom. We're downstream from them. Once that's cleaned up, our lakes and rivers will be much more viable.
I'm glad to be here, Mr. Chairman.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you.
MS. SMITH: I'm Fran Smith. I'm from northern New Jersey, and I'm president of a lake association of about 100 lakes, private. We are an educational tool for lakes, and we also get involved with politics.
MR. HOFMAN: My name is Dirk Hofman, and I serve as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust. I'm one of the four ex officio members of this committee. We're involved in financing projects that basically are beneficial for water quality, to provide a water quality benefit in the state. We finance about $1.8 billion worth of projects across the state. As the Assemblyman mentioned, in Mercer County, there's Colonial Lake, and we did finance the cleaning of Colonial Lake. So we're in that business, and we're more than willing and happy to work with this committee to pursue this effort through.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you, Dirk.
I'm Steve Corodemus. I'm the Chairman of the Task Force. These organizations do not run by the committees alone. So I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce the staff. I'd like to introduce Smita Patel, who is the Executive Director.
Smita, stand up so they can all see you.
Some of my staff are here and are assisting Smita: Kevin Israel standing there; Zina Gamuzza, who organized the logistics for today's meeting; and Ariana Winokur. Thank you, Ariana.
MR. ARMENTI: Good morning. I'm Carmen Armenti. I'm an Assistant State Treasurer in the Department of Treasury. I'm on the Task Force representing the State Treasurer. To the extent I can help the Task Force and the public members regarding funding issues for lake cleanup, I'm happy to do that. So I'm happy to be here.
MR. BIERBAUM: Good morning. My name is Martin Bierbaum. I'm here on behalf of Jane Kenny, Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. Although the Department of Community Affairs is often associated with building things and with the things that counties and municipalities do, I should mention that I formerly worked at the Department of Environmental Protection for eight years. I worked closely with Jim Mumman and Bud Cann, Dirk Hofman and Mark Smith, who is yet to be introduced. I was involved in land and water planning and environmental planning for eight years at the Department of Environmental Protection.
SENATOR BUCCO: Good morning. I'm Tony Bucco, Senator of the 25th District of North Jersey, Morris County, which we call the lakeland region, and also the sponsor of the Lake Hopatcong Commission, which was just started the beginning of this year. We are very concerned about the water quality of all of our lakes, not only in North Jersey in my district, but throughout the state. As I sit on this board/Task Force as the Vice-Chair, I am looking forward to our next meeting being held up in Morris County, hosted by the Lake Hopatcong Commission, when the Chairman decides when he would like to have it up there.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you.
SENATOR BUCCO: We are all going to welcome you up there. I apologize for being late. We had a little traffic accident on 287 that stopped us from reaching here on time, but we'll try to make sure that there are no accidents when you people want to come.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you, Tony.
SENATOR BUCCO: Okay.
MR. HUTCHINSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning. My name is John Hutchinson, and I'm the Assistant Executive Director of the Senate Majority Staff in Trenton. I'm a public member of the committee, and I'd like to thank the Assemblyman for holding this meeting three short blocks away from where I grew up on Neptune Avenue.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Great.
MR. HUTCHINSON: It's great to come back to Monmouth County.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Mark.
MR. SMITH: I'm Mark Smith, former Chief of Staff at the DEP, and was not able to help solve this problem while I was there, and I'm hoping to help solve it now that I'm gone.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you.
Before I call our first witness, I want to recognize a friend who was instrumental in helping Deal Lake move so far ahead, Jeff Hunt from Deal Lake Commission. Thank you for being here, Jeff. (applause)
Our first witness will be our host today, Mayor Joseph Coyne from Allenhurst. Joe, we'd like to thank you for coming here. Thank you for these great facilities.
M A Y O R J O S E P H M. C O Y N E: Well, thank you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: It's a pleasure being here.
MAYOR COYNE: First of all, welcome to everyone on the committee and to people in the public. Just a quick plug for Allenhurst, if you don't mind. I'd invite you to drive around--
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Joe, excuse me one second. You have--
MAYOR COYNE: I'm sorry. I have to sit here and talk to you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: You can hold the microphone if you'd like, if you don't want to sit.
MAYOR COYNE: I'll sit. We invite you to drive around, or more particularly, walk around town. For the Commission's information, we, about a year ago, did something very unusual. We designated the whole municipality as an architectural preservation district, a little bit less of a shade of historical preservation such as in Cape May and Newton and some of those areas. We didn't have the commercial focus for doing this. We had a personal intent to save how the fronts of the houses looked, and I think we've done quite nice. The town looks very good this year. A lot of support from the people on it.
Any appeals to any of the rules and regulations come to the planning board. The person gets to explain not only to the planning board, but to their neighbors and friends why or how they want to change the house. The one permit that we've been consistent on seeing is the hardest one to get -- is going to be a demolition permit. If you have to take something down, you really have to come and prove your case before it. So we're out after to keep--
Allenhurst celebrated its 100th anniversary a few years back. We're trying to fix up Borough Hall and a number of things. We're only a small town. So, to the board, welcome. Also, down by Deal Lake, there's a gazebo, part of the historical preservation. We set up a gazebo down by the lake. As a matter of fact, the Governor used it one time. I was away on a trip for that for some mentions about the lake.
Besides Mayor, since 1988, I've also served on the Deal Lake Commission for about 10 years. So I would just quickly and briefly to the commission ask that-- There are three highlights I'd like to bring up.
Number one, if you all could think about a generic type permit for some of the work that has to be done. We find for Deal Lake-- We have an excellent engineer -- Peter Avakian, under Avakian Services, and Peter serves for a number of other coastal lakes along here -- Fletcher Lake and one or two others. There's duplication. It's hard fought funds for these lake commissions to go get it, and so I would think it would be better to take a step back, have the State already say here's the certain parameters so that the various engineering firms -- I'm not cutting them out of the loop or anything like that -- but that certain amounts of funds or at least certain parameters be identified prior to the issuance of funds to the various commissions. My sense is it will just save quite a bit of money.
Secondly, on the dredge spoils issue, we held a conference here several months back, actually, early in the spring. I entitled it Dredge Spoils Contaminated by Perception, a quick horror story from Deal Lake Commission. After all the testing had been done of the mud from the bottom of the lakes for a certain area that Jeff Hunt and his group was very instrumental in pushing along, when it came time for disposal, as soon as someone hears -- and we see it from the harbor and we see it offshore -- as soon as anyone hears dredge spoils, bells and whistles go off. Private property owners say, "I don't care what DEP says how clean it is. I'm scared to death 15 years down the road somebody is going to change a regulation and now I'm going to be a hazmat site." So, if there can be at least some complete concept as to what are the parameters of the dredge spoils, what can we do with them. At our urging in Monmouth County, we asked the county people in here, how about for some of the use for covering, for daily fill over the garbage spoils, what would be the parameters of that? Do you want to mix some sand in with it to bulk it up? What can the contractor do previous to it to help? Once again, you mentioned already the high cost of dredge spoils eliminations. Additionally, that leads then into, as you know, New Jersey and the state of Pennsylvania have an MUA -- a memorandum of understanding -- regarding dredge spoils going out to the mines in Pennsylvania. There it is, in fact, added to fly ash. It is bulked up, injected into the mines, and--
Pennsylvania's number one environmental problem are abandoned mines. The dredge spoils from New York Harbor have worked well out there already. The mining sites now are coming back closer to Scranton. They had been way out in the center of the state. The costs were tremendous, involved in transporting those dredge spoils. But that might be a way. We have the railroad track, certainly, here for the coastal lakes. There might be some way. I'm sure if there was some impetus from the State in the way of permitting and recognition that it's not a hazmat disposal site to handle these dredge spoils, that industry will step to the plate and say, "Here's a vacuum. I think we can provide a service, and we can get rid of the dredge spoils."
The third issue, please, that it's a local issue, but I have a sense some of the other lakes-- Deal Lake Commission has seven municipalities that front it. A lot of times our Police Department and some of the other police departments will receive a call from a resident, rightfully mad that there is some wacko out there on the lake speeding up and down in a boat chopping up the edges of the lake and the backwash and that type of thing. New Jersey claims that Deal Lake is -- belongs to New Jersey. Therefore, it would require the presence of New Jersey Marine Police. Those guys are busy enough up in the harbor. They're busy enough in Barnegat Bay.
My suggestion would be, if the State could come up with, certainly through the AG's Office, some type of generic ordinance allowing so that each of the municipalities on a lake could pass mirror ordinances allowing their local police department to insert some type of care and control over a violator rather than the usual problem right now -- the private citizen has to file the complaint. It's cumbersome. It doesn't work, and quite frankly, most people just back off right away and say, "The hell with it. It's not worth doing it." Whereas if the local police departments -- not that I'm looking to throw more of a burden upon our fellows -- but if we at least knew that there was, once again, a generic -- I hate to say the generic thing -- but we're not squeezing the toothpaste back in the tube on a lot of these areas. But my sense is, each one of the lakes throughout the state -- we all share the same types of problems.
So there it was there. Thanks fellas and enjoy, and I love your work. (applause)
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Task Force members, if you ever have any questions from the witnesses, feel free to jump in. Any questions for the Mayor? (no response)
Okay. Thank you.
MAYOR COYNE: Thank you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you very much. Thank you for hosting us again.
Just a housekeeping thing. If anybody has cell phones or beepers, please shut them off. They annoy everybody else, and they interrupt with the recording of the meeting. Thank you.
Our next witness will be Councilman Pat DeAngelo from Bradley Beach.
P A T D e A N E G L O: I want to say one thing: I'm very glad to be here today and be a part of such a movement. I've been associated with Assemblyman Corodemus since 1996, when we first started with the lake programs.
Bradley Beach has a small lake, Fletcher Lake. Six years ago, when Assemblyman Corodemus first came down, it was a little bit shabby looking. The last six years, we've put park benches, we've put flowers, we've put gazebos, we've put aerators, we've maintained a volunteer force between the cooperation of Ocean Grove, Mayor Krimko, and the previous administrations and myself and the public works. We endeavor every week to clean it. We have problems with rain, the runoffs. I think we've done a magnificent job on our end of maintaining it.
Our problem -- it's a two-foot lake. It's a shallow lake. People feed geese, ducks, or whatever. The contamination settles at the bottom of the lake. At one time, as a child, I actually swam in the lake. I only hope I could restore it where children can take a rowboat out and do a little fishing. I've got reports here that PCB-- They can't even make a check on our lake it's so bad. I'm concerned for the welfare of the children that live there and play and fish.
What I'm looking for is help. We've had some outfits come in and donate dredging. The Army Corps of Engineers have been very helpful. The Mosquito Control was very helpful at times. We've done whatever we can and whatever we can afford to do. I realize there's not a lot of money, but I would like to offer up our small lake as a test project for this group if they want to come in, make evaluations, see what you could do. Because if you come in my community, we've come back a long way, Bradley Beach. Our beaches are the finest, the cleanest. Our town is built up. I live right next to the lake, and I take great pride. I'm looking for help in any way. I don't know which way to go. I know it always boils down to the money, but we do have a lot of volunteerism. So we're not only asking for money. We're asking for guidance.
And with that, I've said my piece. Thank you for having me. (applause)
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you, Councilman.
Yes, Councilman Krimko.
M A Y O R J O S E P H K R I M K O: Mayor this year.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Mayor. Thank you.
MAYOR KRIMKO: I just wanted to add a little bit to what Pat said. I just found out about this meeting just a few minutes ago and kind of rushed over.
What we have to recognize is that most of our coastal lakes are detention ponds. That's all they are today because of the fact that the natural streams that fed them, for the most part, have been built over. We're getting pipe water. We're getting road runoff water. We're getting the silt that comes off of that. We need help upstream. We need, perhaps, regulations that require storm-scepters on a certain size construction projects. Because what's happening, of course, is we're at the bottom end of the stream, and everybody knows what happens at the bottom end.
Speaking about the dredging that we got, that was a real nightmare with the State side of it. Weeks Marine, there with the Army Corps with all their big Tonka toys, volunteered to give us a day's dredging. The shovel they were using had an eight-and-a-half cubic yard bucket. A day's turnout from them was an enormous help. I'm calculating the value of this free dredging and the removal of the spoils, which were done by the public works of the two towns. We got about $100,000 value if we had to buy it. And yet, we had to beg the State to let us do it.
We have a record, on tape, of dozens of phone calls to DEP where phone calls were not even returned -- "Oh, they'll get back to you." And Mr. Quixley (phonetic spelling), who heads our Fletcher Lake Commission, said, "No, thanks. I'll call back," and did so every half-hour on the half-hour until somebody finally spoke to him. The problem is that we're not getting that level of assistance that we should be getting. When a municipality is trying to do something -- in this case, two municipalities -- for the good of both-- I heard Peter Revockian mentioned. Peter was our engineer on the project. Peter had been working with the Corps of Engineers. The spoils that were coming out were mostly clean sand from the '92 nor'easter, and the towns had no trouble disposing of it ourselves. We got some 3000 cubic yards.
The problem was -- and it gets down to this kind of nit-picking thing that you feel that there's nobody out there helping you. We had an active dredging permit for Fletcher Lake. It's a 10-block long lake, as Pat pointed out, approximately two-foot deep, thanks to the buildup of silt. And yet, because that permit was for the west end of the 10-block lake, to get the amendment approved to do a little bit of dredging at the east end took us well over a month, and we barely made the deadline before Weeks Marine were moving their equipment out. That's the problem we face. Who's there to help us when we turn for help and we have to go through better than a month's worth of begging to get something done for the good of the towns? We need to find a better way to operate if we're going to keep getting these things done. As I said, we're at the bottom end. We're getting the garbage from everybody else. The State is quick to tell us what's good for us. The hospital is a good use, so they don't have to pay tax. This is a good use. This is a required thing. And yet, when we turn for help, it's not always there. It's not that I'm complaining that the help doesn't eventually happen, but we need to have a better method when a good project comes up, not by some contract out to rape the community, but by the communities themselves to better the communities that we don't get a response. That's part of the problem.
And again, the upstream end of these lakes is out of our jurisdiction in many cases, and we need help to prevent the kind of garbage that flows into it. That will also be in a more of a regional approach, because it just so happens the lakes end up along the coast, but the garbage is coming from elsewhere in many cases. So we do need that kind of assistance, and perhaps some new regulations or some new studies that will help us work on the out edges, and when we have projects to work on the lakes themselves, we get some help.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Could I ask you a question, Mayor?
MAYOR KRIMKO: Yes, sure.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: You said that there are approximately 3000 cubic yards -- some of it was sand that you could reclaim.
MAYOR KRIMKO: Most of it was pretty clean sand.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: What did you do with the rest of it?
MAYOR KRIMKO: Well, we disposed of it in the two towns wherever we could use the fill.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: So it wasn't contaminated. It was just silty type--
MAYOR KRIMKO: Oh, no. It definitely wasn't contaminated. Before we even got the okay to amend the dredging, we had to submit studies of the quality, which Peter did for us.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: You had a beneficial reuse of the material. You had put it to some other good use, as opposed to just--
MAYOR KRIMKO: Yes. We were able to locate it within the two towns wherever fill could be used in this particular case.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Okay.
MAYOR KRIMKO: Previously, when we finally got the promised lake moneys from the State for Wesley Lake on the other end of town, which we share with Asbury, there we were able to use it on top of the old landfill and ballfield area. And so again, the distance it had to be trucked was minimized. But dredging, it's kind of beyond the scope of the smaller towns to handle because of the costs involved, and that's why we need some help. It's like the sand project. If the government, the Federal and the Corps and everybody, the State wasn't picking up the 65 percent side, it would not have happened, because the towns can't afford those kinds of projects with the burdensome taxes that we have in place now. Until we get some substantial and significant reform to the property tax method, we can't overburden these small towns with projects that are outside of their scope and yet benefit the whole area. So that's part of the problem. We need to address those.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Great. Thank you very much, Mayor.
MAYOR KRIMKO: Thank you. (applause)
MR. DeANGELO: (speaking from audience) May I add something to what Mayor Krimko said?
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: You have to come up and use the microphone, Pat.
MR. DeANGELO: I'm sorry to interrupt, but I do want to make it clear to the public that when we did hit this roadblock, we did come to the committee. I wanted the committee to know that I'm thankful, because Assemblyman Corodemus, and I believe Senator Palaia, made calls, and the roadblock was opened up, and we just beat the deadline to get the dredging. So the committee did function, and I want to thank you for what help you did give us. But we are in dire need of help.
I've neglected to mention, we had one day where thousands of fish just rose to the surface. It was an ungodly site. This was last summer with a heat spell.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Right.
MR. DeANGELO: To me, I'm worried that it will eventually turn into a health hazard, and I would not like to see that.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you.
MR. DeANGELO: Thank you again.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Bill Benfer. Bill, from Ocean Grove.
W I L L I A M B E N F E R: Good morning, everyone. I'm on the Deal Lake Commission. I'm the Treasurer of it, and there is two problems we ran into with our current project.
We received a very generous gift of money from the State Assembly and the Governor and the State Senate -- $350,000, which we still are waiting for 35,000, Mr. Treasurer. We got in the middle of this project, and we took like three bids and we tried to get a contractor to do it. And lo and behold, the bids came in double the money we had. It was unbelievable. In the past, we never saw such high overruns. So we were facing the prospect of -- every time it went out to bid, it got higher. So the highest bid, I think, was $750,000.
So we contacted Monmouth County Mosquito Commission, and they offered to help. They are a very big help, and they ate a lot of the cost up. And we had a contract again in our road building, and our hauling costs were very -- more than we expected, too, even pinning it down, almost taking the whole grant. Then we ran into the landfill issue. The landfill issue was almost impossible.
The Mayor of Ocean Township finally came to our rescue with the Cedar Housing development up on 66, where we were going to put the spoils. But we find that, even though I thought it was a generous amount of money, the cost of hauling this dredge material is like -- even if it's close by, three miles-- We thought we were going to have to go to the bay, because the county was doing some work over there. We had some bay area for a landfill, but that would have been like 30 miles by the time we got from here, because the roads just don't go straight there. And that would have been prohibitive; you couldn't probably even afford to do anything.
So, even though you get money and you're a big lake and you've done projects, the problem is that sometimes the construction costs of this-- Haven't you found this other places? This year the construction prices have gone out of the ceiling. I mean, everywhere I look people are exceeding their budgets for their construction costs on almost everything they're doing. I don't know if it's -- inflation not supposed to be or whatever, but we're in quite a big difficulty because of it. Now we seem to have a lot of problems. We're ready to do it this month and get it going and get it done with help from the county. We're going to need some help from some of our towns, for trucks to get some more spoils out. Because of the money situation, we can't get everything out we want to get out. So we are going to hope that the towns can help us a little bit.
I think you should be looking at this quite seriously, because the lack of a landfill, the distance it takes to truck it to it, which the trucks are expensive, and then the overall cost of the bids coming in, it's like-- You think it's a lot of money, but it's only half the cost.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Bill, what's the status at Deal Lake right now?
MR. BENFER: The status at Deal Lake is that we're in the middle of a project. I'm waiting for wellheads being installed on Saturday to water the golf course so we can proceed. Then, as soon as it's convenient, we're going to drain the lake. When it dries, we're going to get everything in there we can from the Mosquito Commission. We just bought a new dredge we're going to utilize, and we're going to get as much as we can, as quickly as we can, and get out of there, because the neighbors are getting upset and it's just been such a prolonged project.
It took us over a year just to get a place for a landfill. We were bounced all over the place. And then we hit the bad weather, and then one thing happened after the other, then we ended up in trouble deep into the summer where we didn't want to be. We're finally going to get it done now.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Okay.
MR. BENFER: But the thing was, it's just a real problem. You know, you get money and you find out the contracts are bidding much higher, 50 percent higher than you have -- 100 percent higher than you have, it just-- You kind of have to be a contractor by yourself, and that causes you more problems and more delays and more difficulties.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: It would be a big help to me and the Task Force if you could get back to us in the future and tell us dollarwise how much it cost you for the scope of the project that you had, so that we can start developing a rule of thumb on what type of moneys we're going to need to address Deal Lake and all the other lakes around the State of New Jersey.
MR. BENFER: I have to get an assessment from the Mosquito Commission, because they're probably absorbing a few hundred thousand themselves.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Well, what that is, we're going to have to throw that into the pot and figure it out.
MR. BENFER: We'll look at it for you. We'll work on it and get it for you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Great. Thank you very much.
MR. BENFER: You're welcome.
ASSEMBLYMAN GUSCIORA: Excuse me, Bill?
MR. BENFER: Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN GUSCIORA: One of the things I would just like to point out, Bill and a number of other people during this process-- (interrupted by microphone feedback)
MR. CANN: I'll say this again. I'm going to say something good about you, Bill, so--
MR. BENFER: Oh, good. Thanks, Bud. I always take all -- good solicitations.
ASSEMBLYMAN GUSCIORA: Bill and others like him are volunteers, and you're going to meet a lot of people that spend a heck of a lot of their time working on issues like this, and I think it's important to recognize that these are not salaried people. Volunteers are doing most of the work in the state.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you all for the comments. Thank you for your hard work. (applause)
MR. BENFER: Well, thank you. Thank you both.
Linda -- Linda, I don't want to butcher your name -- Dobracki.
L I N D A D O B R A C K I: That's correct.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: You were nodding your head a lot throughout the meeting. I assume you were in support of all of this?
MS. DOBRACKI: Yes. I agree with all of this.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Okay, good.
Linda, you're a teacher, where?
MS. DOBRACKI: In Hazlet.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: In Hazlet. Great.
MS. DOBRACKI: In Hazlet Township.
Assemblyman Corodemus and Task Force, my name is Linda Dobracki.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: You have to sit down and speak louder, Linda, like your--
MS. DOBRACKI: I will. I will.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: What grade do you teach?
MS. DOBRACKI: Fourth grade.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Oh, you must be used to yelling. So you are going to have to--
MS. DOBRACKI: No, not really.
Residents of Colonial Terrace would like to thank you, Assemblyman Corodemus, for your efforts in obtaining the $350,000 grant to dredge Terrace Pond, a part of Deal Lake. We realize that you are the person most instrumental in our receiving funds for this project. The residents would like to see these funds used judiciously and efficiently so that Terrace Pond can be restored to its former health and appearance as soon as possible.
As you can see so far, the whole road that was built is collapsing. And the lake itself, Terrace Pond Lake, is a haven for pools of oil and garbage and mosquitoes as well. As we all know, the longer it takes to restore Terrace Pond, the more money will be expended. Perhaps we need a State watchdog like the Federal General Accounting Office to ensure contractors are performing for the money they are receiving. We ask you, as the Chairman of this 15-member Task Force, to consider us as a prototype, since we are already engaged in Terrace Pond's restoration, and would be pleased if the Task Force would continue to manage the Lake's present and future water quality and depth, and to keep us in mind for the next allocation for lake funding. The residents of Colonial Terrace support your desires and expectations for water quality and lake management.
We are honored, Assemblyman Corodemus, that you have selected Deal Lake as the location to kick off the Task Force in Monmouth County, beginning here to set an example for all of New Jersey.
We thank you for your support.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you, Linda.
Is there anybody else that would like to testify? We've gone through the list of witnesses. Is there anybody else that would like to add their public comments?
Sir. I'm sorry. I have one more.
Are you Fred? (no response)
Okay, you can speak now.
Is Fred Lubnow here? Fred? Okay, you're on deck, Fred. Thank you.
R O B E R T L E E H E F T E R: Hefter, H-E-F-T-E-R.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Hefter, I'm sorry.
Please speak very loud just like our fourth-grade teacher just did. You've got to belt it out so everybody can hear you.
MR. HEFTER: I'll see what I can do.
I believe it was the first speaker, Mayor Coyne, addressed the issue briefly of violations by motorboaters. I understand his concern, but I don't think it goes far enough. I think in order to save Deal Lake, any solution that doesn't involve a total ban on motorboats is doomed to failure. Motorboats increase turbidity. Motorboats contaminate the water with cancer-causing chemicals. The January '99 issue of Scientific American: "No more studies are needed. The facts are in. Motorboat exhaust mixes with water and creates cancer-causing chemicals."
The motorboat wakes-- Most of Deal Lake should be a no-wake zone. Signs are posted, but people violate it routinely, and there's no enforcement. What that does is where there is no hard surface bulkheads, retaining walls, riprap, what have you, it just reflects those wakes back to the soft surfaces, and another few trees fall over into the lake every year. It just creates a problem and makes it worse. I understand there are horsepower restrictions on some of the larger lakes in the state. Is that true? Hopatcong? Who would know about that? There is no restriction on Deal Lake that I know of. It's a horsepower race out there. It's an arms race.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: What size vessels are on the lake? Are you talking about the jet skis or--
MR. HEFTER: I've seen boats out there with 150, 200 horsepower motors kicking up a rooster tail 10 feet off my dock.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: And they're just pleasure boating, water-skiing, or what?
MR. HEFTER: Some of them, I know, are people who live on the lake. A lot more of them -- more of them come down and trailer their boats down and launch them from the Asbury Park side. They're fishing boats, and it's just one after another. You can watch them all afternoon. So I don't know if a ban would do it. It seems like a fairly inexpensive solution to a big part of the problem, possibly a horsepower tax. I'm not quite sure what the ultimate solution would be, but it has got to be addressed.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Okay. Great. Could you forward to us that article that you referred to?
MR. HEFTER: I will look to see if I still have it.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Good. Thank you.
We have one more witness that signed up, and I encourage others.
Fred Lubnow. Fred, the floor is yours.
F R E D S. L U B N O W, Ph.D.: Thank you.
I have a pretty big mouth, so I don't think anyone is going to have a problem hearing me.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Good.
DR. LUBNOW: My name is Fred Lubnow. I'm a limnologist, which means I study lakes, streams, rivers. It's sort of like a marine biologist, but with freshwater ecosystems. I work for an environmental and engineering consulting company called Princeton Hydro. So I'm here representing a lot of our clients, both public and private organizations and landowners who have lakes and are very concerned about their ecology and their restoration. I'm also here to represent NALMS, which is the North American Lake Management Society. It's a national organization that does an awful lot of good work in terms of research in the management of lakes. And I think what you'll find in the future is that they'll be an excellent source of information for this committee.
There are just two items of concern I wanted to bring up. The first was, with the issues you'll be dealing with, I just recommend that the commission stay very flexible in the issues you address, as well as items of specific concern. I mean, one thing that is excellent about this -- addressing these issues -- is dredging is one of those projects. There is a severe need for it in the state. There's a lot of lakes in dire need of dredging. However, at the same time, dredging addresses the symptom of the problem, but not the cause. So that dredging is sort of like dealing with algae blooms or large amounts of aquatic weeds in that you're addressing, again, the symptom, where the cause is excessive pollutant-loading nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. So I would just throw this out.
But keep in mind that in addition to addressing these in-lake restoration techniques, some organizations may come to you and ask for funding to do very nonpoint source pollution control projects. Now there is a nonpoint source-- There's a Federal grant available through the State for a nonpoint source pollution. However, that pot of money is fairly small relative to the need for these control measures throughout the state. So there's a lot of competition for that money. I think incorporating these issues of nonpoint source pollution will be very critical for your endeavors.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Fred--
DR. LUBNOW: Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: --for the benefit of the Task Force and the congregation here--
DR. LUBNOW: Sure.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: --could you give us a five-minute explanation of what happens, what causes the lake to go through the eutrophication process, in layman's technology so we can follow you, okay?
DR. LUBNOW: Sure. Sure. Over time what happens is that when you have a lake or a pond, over time during each rain event, particles, dirt, and soil are washed into that water body. When you have a forested watershed, a lot of the plants within that watershed -- and for definition of watershed is the drainage area -- so all the water that hits the land and drains directly into that lake or pond, that's the watershed. If you have a very forested watershed, the trees and the vegetation help to not only suck up the nutrients, but they also help to hold all the soil and dirt in place. So that means that your pollutant load going into the lake is very small.
What happens is, over time, as people move into watersheds, you have development and farming activity. A lot of these practices generate more pollutant loads in that you're removing a certain amount of the vegetation, you're putting down roads and other impervious surfaces that allow the runoff to wash directly into that lake or pond, and that brings in more pollutants.
What nonpoint source pollution is specifically -- it's that surface runoff. So it's all the nutrients, sort of fertilizers and septic systems and atmospheric loading and all the things that are very diffuse that go into a receiving water body, as opposed to point source pollution. Point source pollution is something that can be identified at a very specific point within the watershed. And the best example is an effluent pipe for a sewage treatment plant. That would be a point source.
Where nonpoint, again, very difficult to control, but there are a lot of measures that can be incorporated into current and future land development activities that can reduce these pollutant loads. So that's just something you should keep in mind that not only addressing what's going on in the lake, but what's going on within its watershed.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: What happens with the accumulation and the siltation of the lake? What happens from there?
DR. LUBNOW: In terms of -- you know, we're talking decades -- what you have is, over time, the average depth will decrease. You have more nutrients going into that water body, more algae blooms. As the depth of the water increases, more weeds begin to grow. So it's sort of a self-serving cycle in that not only do you have these suspended sediments, this dirt going in, which reduces habitat and recreational use, but it also provides a reoccurring source of pollutants. And when I say pollutants, I'm talking nitrogen and phosphorus, things that stimulate algae blooms and excessive weed growth.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: And aside from those problems, when you have more development along the watershed area and particularly when you have septic systems, what happens with that septic system's effluent effect on the lake?
DR. LUBNOW: Again, over the long term, if that septic system isn't pumped out on a regular basis and if it's not being -- if the proper maintenance isn't being conducted on it, over time what happens is that septic system will become a source of phosphorus. It's a reoccurring problem, especially up in northern New Jersey where you have very small, steep watersheds and very small leach-field areas. What we're finding is, if the system is pumped out on a regular basis and if the maintenance activities are conducted on a regular basis, this substantially reduces this pollutant load. If it's not, over time what happens is, as that treated effluent within the septic tank goes into the soil through the leach field, the soil can no longer hold the phosphorus. So it washes into the lake, thus stimulating a lot of algae blooms and aquatic weed growth.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Sorry to interrupt your presentation, but--
DR. LUBNOW: No. No. No. That's all right.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: --this is basic information that everybody has to understand.
DR. LUBNOW: No problem. And if anyone has any questions -- anyone -- feel free to ask. On this first issue, the only other thing I want to briefly mention is, as the Task Force, you're going to have to keep in mind that new issues are going to constantly be coming up. You've heard some of them here in terms of dredging, issues of boating, algae blooms, and pollution. Well, there may be other things on the horizon that you may have to deal with, and I'm just cautioning you that you'll have to stay flexible.
I know, as a consultant, we hear a lot about concerns about West Nile virus. There are a lot of concerns about evasive species. One that has really taken hold in New Jersey has been Eurasian aquatic milfoil. It's a very evasive aquatic species of plants. Other issues of concern may be zebra mussel, maybe purple loosestrife. It's just things that you may have to keep in mind down the future. So again, I'm cautioning you to stay very flexible.
And then my last issue of concern is in regard to-- I understand this Task Force is really focusing on recreational water bodies, but I would say, if you somehow partner or include companies that provide potable or drinking water supplies, you may find that they're an excellent source of not only valuable information, but also support, both financial and technical. A lot of the water supply throughout New Jersey functions as both drinking supplies and recreational water bodies, obviously, such as Round Valley and Spruce Run. But in addition to that, a lot of the recreational water bodies, they are concerned about the pollutants not only going into their lakes, but again it is sort of a chain effect that a recreational water body upstream -- you know, whatever is going on in that lake will affect whatever is going on downstream. So, if you have a recreational water body downstream of a large reservoir that provides drinking water, the quality of that drinking water reservoir will affect the quality of the downstream ecosystems.
So that's something to keep in mind. You may want to include or at least put a call out to some purveyors of drinking water throughout the state. They would be a valuable source of information.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Aside from dredge spoils that are contaminated with hydrocarbons, is there any beneficial reuse of the dredge spoil, aside from sand, which we had a testimony about, aside from sand -- just the lofty sediment type? Is there any beneficial reuse possibilities for that material?
DR. LUBNOW: Right. From our experience, we-- And again, most of the cases we deal with with dredging focus on very organic sediments. You're talking about decaying algae and aquatic plants, in addition to the -- mixed in with the actual dirt and mud. This material is excellent for nonstructural fill. So that's what we tend to really focus on. Any types of parks or local areas that can be used as the final disposal site is an excellent way of dealing with this material.
Someone mentioned Budd Lake. We just finished the dredging project up there, a selective dredging project of a portion of that water body. In that particular case, they're working on their local park, Turkey Brook Park. It just so happens they had this park that they're redoing. They had a lot of space available. They did all the State testing, you know, and then they took the material after they did the testing and found out that it was clean. They took the material up and it was used as a nonstructural fill. So, based on our experience, that's how we see that material being used.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Does it have any-- Does this dredge sediment have any potential beneficial reuse for gardening or agricultural purposes?
DR. LUBNOW: Yes. When I-- I apologize. When I say nonstructural fill, that would include any sort of landscaping, gardening, farming, anything like that. It tends to be very organic. Now, obviously, this is up in North Jersey. When you're talking in this part of New Jersey, it's very sandy, and in that case, when it's clean, a lot of times it can be reclaimed for beach sites or some other nonstructural use. But yes, it can be used, but from our experience, the two things that really limit or place a constraint on any dredging project is, number one, finding the final disposal site, and number two, the trucking and the transportation associated with that disposal site. Usually those are the two factors. When a dredging project is being implemented, those are the two factors that really constrain any sort of operation.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: When you get this dredge material out of the lake, it's a very mushy, mayonnaisey-type of material.
DR. LUBNOW: Right.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: What type of facilities do you need to dewater that so that you can ultimately use that, and how long a process is that?
DR. LUBNOW: There are actually two ways to dredge. The one way is by using a floating aquatic barge, like a mud cat. That basically directly sucks the sediments out and then puts that material on a floating barge, which is then placed on shore. On just an operating basis, that tends to be the lower in cost, but the problem with that is now you have this very liquidy material that you have to build some type of containment structure on shore to let that stuff dry before it goes to a final disposal site. So, from our experience, this kind of hydrologic dredging is more expensive overall, because you have a temporary disposal site, and it really depends on the weather. If you have a nice, dry winter, it could be dry enough to move within three to four months, but if you have-- Again, we tend to prefer to do our dredging projects in the fall and into the winter and maybe into the spring, obviously, to avoid the summer activities. But it tends to be very liquidy, and it really depends on the weather.
What we prefer to do is selective dredging. Whereas, if you have the capacity to draw your water body down, expose those shoreline sediments or those bay or those cove sediments and get in there with some type of -- if you need some type of road and get in there with more conventional equipment, this stuff is still liquidy, but it's easier to manage, and the temporary disposal site does not have to be as confining as one with the hydrologic dredging.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: What about the dredge material that is contaminated? What type of disposal sites is available right now for that material?
DR. LUBNOW: Yes. There are some special disposal sites right now. There's one client I'm thinking of right now -- they're taking the material up. There's a processing plant. I believe it's up in Bayonne, but I'll have to get that information for you. I can get that for you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Where they're doing the channel, right? They're amending that soil with cement sometimes and other products.
DR. LUBNOW: Exactly. From our experience -- I mean, we've done at least a feasibility study. I'd say in the last seven years we've done probably about 20, 25 feasibility studies for dredging. And of all those projects, one came up high in terms of a potential contaminant, and it was copper. And the reason why it was copper was, this water body would use heavy amounts of copper sulfate to control algae blooms for the last 20, 30, even 40 years. So it's something to keep in mind, that copper algicide treatments are very effective. And when they're done in conjunction with other management techniques, they're very effective. But you do want to keep the amount of copper you're adding to a minimum, because over time, it can impact you. But I just have a feeling in this particular system, I think maybe about 40 years ago, they were using quite a lot of copper. Nowadays, with the permits that are in place, you use very small amounts of copper to achieve your goal, which is controlling the algae.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Great. Well, thank you.
DR. LUBNOW: You're welcome.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Are there any questions?
MR. HOFMAN: Yes. In your studies, have you ever come up with any criteria as to judge whether a lake should actually exist or not, that it should be breached and eliminated?
DR. LUBNOW: Usually, that's based primarily on two things. It's primarily based on the use. If there's an active community using that lake, it's very difficult for us to just say, "You know what, this should be a stream." And then on the other issue, in terms of an environmental basis, is whether or not there is habitat there that's been there for 30 or 40 years and whether or not it would be better to go back to a stream ecosystem.
Now, in terms of the dam and issues of dam restoration and repair, I could talk to some of our engineers. We have three engineers on staff that do a lot of dam repair and dam assessments. They may have another take on it. They may have some type of criteria where they determine whether or not a dam should be abandoned or if a dam should be restored. But in terms of-- As an ecologist, what I'm concerned about is human use and activity, and then the habitat there. I know we've been very frustrated in our permit activities from time to time that we go in and there's a water body -- there's an area that's a wetland area that we want to dredge. And they say, "Well, you can't dredge there. It's wetland habitat." We say yes, but it's originally been open water habitat, and it was supposed to be open water habitat for the last 50, 70 years. So you'd get into issues of concern of whether or not you should just let that area go and let it remain as a wetland or if it should be removed and provided as open water habitat.
MR. HOFMAN: Thank you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Any other questions?
SENATOR BUCCO: Mr. Chairman?
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Yes, Senator.
SENATOR BUCCO: Not a question, but, Fred, can I have a card of yours?
DR. LUBNOW: Sure.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Your three engineers that do dam work should be very happy, because the Legislators here approved a huge dam repair bill of some $135 million to start addressing the different categories of dams throughout the state. So they'll probably be busy for the next few years. (laughter)
DR. LUBNOW: You're right. And in addition to that, for some reason, after we had that large storm last year, they've been very busy with dams.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Right.
MR. DeANGELO: (speaking from audience) One last question. ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: You have to come up again.
MR. DeANGELO: This is the last time. I promise.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: We're glad to see you so enthusiastic about this.
MR. DeANGELO: Well, we have a problem of feeding migratory birds, and I'd like to know you, as an expert, what's your opinion, what damage they do to the area? Because I have people telling me, "We're not doing nothing, they're poor animals." But on the other hand, we're poisoning the lakes. We have an ecology problem. What is your opinion on feeding these birds?
DR. LUBNOW: Well, first, they're still on the Federal species list, that they are Federal species that should not be touched. But what's ironic is, the actual subspecies of geese that are on that list are not the ones that you see around lakes. These are the lazy birds, which is a subspecies. Their populations are out of control, and they do have a big effect on the environment, on average. I mean, studies have shown on average they go to the bathroom and they defecate 28 times a day. I'd hate to be the grad student that figures that one out. (laughter)
MR. DeANGELO: I was told the same thing -- 28 times a day. If you put it into cubic proportions, you wouldn't believe it.
DR. LUBNOW: I mean, when we do our lake studies, what we'll do if there are concerns with geese is, we'll have volunteers, and they count the number of geese per day on a lake or surrounding the lake. We have coefficients where we can quantify how much phosphorus and nitrogen is coming in from those birds. When people see that, they say, "Whoa." You know, when 10 percent or 20 percent of their phosphorus is coming in just from the birds, they understand that that's a big problem.
MR. DeANGELO: So then may I understand you in saying that you would not recommend feeding these birds?
DR. LUBNOW: Definitely not. Definitely not.
MR. DeANGELO: Well, I hope the people listen to what this gentleman is saying, because I've been fighting for three years, and they don't pay me no mind.
DR. LUBNOW: Yes.
MR. DeANGELO: Thank you very much.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Is that it, Pat?
MR. DeANGELO: I hope so. (laughter)
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Yes. Mayor Krimko.
MAYOR KRIMKO: Just to add a little information for you on the geese, we did pass a local ordinance prohibiting feeding of any species along our lakesides and waterways, number one. Number two, the Area 12 Watershed -- there is a project going on in the Silver Lake area -- it's a test project -- where they are mining the geese excrement and processing it through composting for fertilizer use. I don't know if it will work and how well you can mine it. I suggested one way of mining it might be on your children's clothing, but obviously that's facetious, but it is a serious problem and there is that one project, at least, looking to address it, and it might be one solution in the future.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Great. Thank you.
Is there anybody else who would like to testify?
Jeff, come on up. This man is a hardworking volunteer for Deal Lake Commission.
I'm sorry. Is there a question here?
MS. SMITH: I just wanted to speak to the geese for a minute, because there is a Federal permit you can get to addle the eggs from the nests, and it really-- There are several firms that do this for you, and it reduces the population considerably. It also makes the birds not want to nest in that area, once they haven't been able to hatch the young.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: How do they do that?
MS. SMITH: They addle the egg, and then replace it in the nest.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: What does addle the egg mean? I'm not a farm boy.
MS. SMITH: I'm not either. It kills the sperm, actually, in the egg so it never hatches.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: What is it, a chemical that they use?
MS. SMITH: No. They puncture it, and then addle it.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Oh, they puncture it.
MS. SMITH: Yes. And there are several firms that do it. It's a Federal permit, and there are no limit on the eggs. We found it very acceptable in a lot of the northern lakes, in two ways: You don't have the population growth, and then the birds do get discouraged from nesting on your property.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: That's very labor intensive, I imagine.
MS. SMITH: Well, it really isn't. If you hire a firm in the northern area-- We have one firm that does it. He comes on the different lakes. He's there one or two hours. They're very specific in their knowledge as to where the geese would nest.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Where do they nest?
MS. SMITH: Usually in clustered areas where they have--
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Close to the lake?
MS. SMITH: --some protection, close to the lake on small islands or where there aren't many people living. So the people that specialize in this do know where to go for them and are very effective.
I live on a lake, and we take about 150 eggs a year. So, if you think how that may multiply over years, we would have a much larger population, and our lake associations do use that permit.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Go ahead.
MR. HOFMAN: The Tennessee Valley Authority -- they have a civil service position known as egg shaker. (laughter) That's exactly what they do. They wear these leather gloves and go around and shake the eggs and kill the embryo.
MS. SMITH: To continue on that, they do charge for that, but the-- I'm trying to think of the name -- Space Farms in northern New Jersey have several people that do it. They charge $25 an hour to come. It's very inexpensive, and they really know what they're doing.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Jeff.
J E F F H U N T: Thank you, Assemblyman, and members of the Task Force. I just, first of all, would like to say that I know when you have different problems that lakes go through and associations go through, one of the biggest problems you have is trying to get all the different departments and groups together to address those issues. And through this Task Force, you've done that, Assemblyman, putting everybody together. I feel very confident that some of the problems and concerns that we have are going to be addressed and taken care of.
The other point I'd like to say is that a lot of the public always comes down and says, "It's a State issue problem. It's a DEP problem." And I'm here to say that in Deal Lake, back in '97, the citizens really felt very strongly about Terrace Pond. We were able to work with the Deal Lake Commission and very quickly submit an application to the DEP and with three-and-a-half months' time frame got the approval back, and we were able to start dredging.
So again, I wanted to say and put it on the record that my experiences with the DEP, and anybody involved on a state level, has been very helpful and supportive, and I would just like to preface my comments. The last thing I really want to say is that -- and I know this from firsthand experience -- when you get concerned citizens involved in projects, they really have their heart behind the project. Mountains can be moved and lakes can be drawn down and beautiful things can be happening, and then when it's refilled, you have a beautiful project. What's been very helpful in Monmouth County is our water resources, the freeholders, and the townships that actually get involved. That, I think, is an issue that -- cooping together and partnerships -- that I've heard time and time again that I think has to be a foundation in any successful lake project.
I just wanted to say thank you very much for hearing from us, come and taking the time out of your schedules, and I know you are going to be very successful in what you're doing. I thank you very much.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Thank you, Jeff.
Most of you, hopefully, by now will have received a little card here that announces that this Task Force will have a Web site -- www.njlakes.org -- and the purpose of this Web site is informational two ways. One is that we're going to provide the information that you saw here today, for your friends that weren't able to attend, on the Web site.
Fran, you'll be happy to hear that there's a special Kids' Corner there for children. It has information about lakes, how they can become more knowledgeable about them, how they can do much better than their parents and grandparents before them to preserve these lakes for years to come. It's also going to be a site where we're going to exchange information. We're going to have an electronic questionnaire there that will hopefully be accessed by all the private-public lake owners to complete. We will be gathering this information that we need, and we'll be sharing with DEP directly to provide a database for everybody's information.
We're also going to be looking for shared experiences. I asked Bill Benfer for his information about Deal Lake, what their budget was like. We're going to be soliciting that type of information so we can start getting some yardstick about how much money we are going to be talking about on a statewide basis to accumulate that.
Will we be able to get the minutes on the Web page as well?
HEARING REPORTER: I'm sure we can work out some arrangement. Do you mean the transcript?
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: The transcript.
HEARING REPORTER: There's got to be somebody that knows how to do that stuff.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Okay. We'll figure that out and see if we can make that available, too.
MR. CANN: At previous meetings, we had distributed a CD to the members of the Task Force. The EPA has a really good lake guidance manual that is now available electronically on Rutgers Library. We'll provide a link to that--
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Good.
MR. CANN: --so if anybody is looking for some really detailed information -- what makes a lake function -- that's the best manual available.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Great.
MR. CANN: That will be available. We'll give you that link.
MR. MUMMAN: And one other thing, too, Assemblyman. Fred had mentioned the watershed, and I can't say enough about what he was talking about, what's happening -- I think one of the mayors did -- what goes on upstream on the lakes. There is a watershed group in that division that is actively developing policy advisory committees, technical advisory committees in your area, the coastal areas. Dave Rosenblath (phonetic spelling) is the Bureau Chief. We will provide that information, a hot link, through the Web for the whole state for the 20 watershed management areas.
I would agree with Fred. You have to get involved in there and see what's going on upstream of the lakes to control what gets into your lake. And that is a process that the Department is embarking on and they're very serious about. I implore all of you to get involved in that process. We will supply that as a link to the Web, and it will be the Division of Watershed Management, and we'll have all the contacts in there for you.
ASSEMBLYMAN CORODEMUS: Great.
The next public meeting of the Task Force will be on the Web page. We're looking to get a better distribution list for announcements of these public meetings. So, if you have any resources that you'd like to share with us, please send them to me.
Again, I'd like to thank our hosts here in Allenhurst. I'd like to thank the Task Force members for coming from great distances. And I'd like to thank everybody for showing up today to share their important information with us. It's been invaluable.
Thank you, and have a good day.