G.L. Commission Installs Floating Islands to Control HABs in Belcher’s Creek

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By A.J. Arias


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic health situation, the Greenwood Lake Commission has continued its efforts to clean up Greenwood Lake, specifically Belcher’s Creek. Earlier this year Princeton Hydro, a research team currently contracted by the Commission to assist with cleaning up Belcher’s Creek, installed five floating wetland islands as part of that effort.

The project, which was led by Commissioner Jonathan Brett according to Princeton Hydro’s information page, is a low cost and natural solution to combatting high phosphorus levels in the water. High phosphorus levels have long plagued Greenwood Lake and continue to be a leading cause of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) throughout the lake. 

The floating islands consist of different naturally occurring plants, each having a different role in the island with the primary intention of controlling the nutrient-high runoff from going into the water and feeding algae. The floating islands additionally help limit wave and sediment erosion, another ongoing issue in the lake.

Funding Concerns

Low cost means of cleanup are essential to the Commission’s efforts moving forward as local funding is called into question as governments struggle with the economic impacts of the pandemic. Several planned projects in the New York end of the lake may be halted due to lack of funding from Orange County. 

Village of Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer was present at the Commission’s meeting on Wed., July 22 to outline his economic needs for funding, which include funds for hydro raking on the lake to save the North Arm before channels become too narrow and work in the area is no longer allowed. 

Texting Program

Another low cost project the Greenwood Lake Commission has invested in is a new texting program to spread information about the lake in a more efficient manner.

The project, which was spearheaded by Commission Treasurer Dale VanNimwegen, allows residents and visitors from around the lake to receive updates relating to different lake hazards such as HABs, boating accidents, floating stumps as well as information relating to Commission meetings and projects going on around the lake. 

To subscribe to the texting alerts from the Greenwood Lake Commission text the word LAKE to 555999.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Greenwood Lake Commission will be held on Wed., Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. via the Zoom online meeting platform. For more information or to register for the meeting, visit the Commission’s website at www.GWLC.org


The Greenwood Lake Commission installed Floating Island Wetlands in the Belcher’s Creek area of the lake in order to naturally control algae formation.


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