The Deal Lake Commission’s success in the management and restoration of Deal Lake garners a prestigious award from the North American Lake Management Society
The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) awarded the Deal Lake Commission (DLC) with its “2018 Lake Management Success Stories” award. The award, which was presented at the NALMS 38th International Symposium, is given annually to recognize and honor an individual or group that has made significant lake/reservoir management accomplishments.
The DLC has overseen the management and restoration of Deal Lake and its watershed since 1974. Consisting of appointees from the seven municipalities abutting the lake, the DLC’s mission is to provide leadership, guidance and resources to preserve and restore Deal Lake and its tributaries as a healthy and stable ecosystem. A true challenge in an urban environment.
“It has been both a pleasure and an honor to work with the Deal Lake Commission for the past 35 years,” said Dr. Stephen Souza, Princeton Hydro Co-Founder. “They have shown great resolve to tackle some serious problems affecting the lake and its watershed, serving as a great example for other organizations involved in the restoration of urban lakes.”
Deal Lake is New Jersey’s largest coastal lake, encompassing 162 acres. The lake is surrounded by a 4,400-acre highly urbanized watershed, with the majority of development dating back to the 1960s-1980s. As a result, stormwater management, particularly with respect to water quality and volume management can be especially challenging. The DLC has embraced the numerous challenges, and has worked diligently over the years to correct these issues.
At the forefront, the DLC has been managing the primary cause of the lake’s eutrophication: stormwater runoff from the surrounding watershed. In 2014, with funding provided through the NJDEP’s 319(h) program, the DLC implemented a number of demonstration projects, specifically the construction of three bioretention basins, the installation of a large manufactured treatment device, the vegetative stabilization of over 500 feet of heavily eroded sections of the shoreline, and the construction of a rain garden at the Deal Lake boat launch.
Collectively these projects were shown to eliminate localized flooding, decrease floatable loading, and reduce nutrient, sediment and pathogen inputs to the lake. These and other projects implemented by the DLC over the years show that despite Deal Lake being located in a highly urbanized watershed, it is possible to implement cost-effective green infrastructure and stormwater retrofit solutions.
Deal Lake recently won another very competitive 319 (h) program for $735,000 for MTDs, tree boxes, and Green infrastructure improvements to Deal Lake, Sunset Lake and Wesley Lake.
The NALMS award nomination application, which was submitted by Dr. Souza, listed a number of additional achievements of the DLC, including:
- Educating the community, including school children, to increase awareness and appreciation for the natural environment of the lake;
- Sponsoring and conducting public engaged spring and fall cleanups, which annually result in the removal of 1,000s of pounds of refuse and debris from the lake;
- Helping homeowners and public groups recognize and mindfully solve problems related to water quality, siltation, and lake restoration;
- Serving as the liaison between lakeside communities, County agencies, and the NJDEP;
- Microbial source tracking investigations with Monmouth University and pathogen source identification work with Clean Ocean Action to decrease E. coli loading;
- Carp removal, invasive species management, and goose control initiatives;
- Working with State legislators to implement stricter stormwater controls to reduce pollutant loading, increase storm resiliency, and improve recreational fishing;
- Participating in the NALMS Secchi Dip In; and
- Proactively suggesting and supporting community-based, practical ideas to improve the overall environmental quality of the lake and its enjoyment by boaters, anglers, hikers, residents and visitors.
For more information on the Deal Lake Commission, visit DealLake.org.
The successful, long-term improvement of a lake or pond requires a proactive management approach that addresses the beyond simply reacting to weed and algae growth and other symptoms of eutrophication. Our staff can design and implement holistic, ecologically-sound solutions for the most difficult weed and algae challenges. Visit our website to learn more about Princeton Hydro’s lake management services: http://bit.ly/pondlake.