Since we originally learned about the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJ DEP) detection of HABs (hazardous algae blooms), we have taken several steps to identify if there are any HABs present in the New York side. At this point, there is ZERO evidence of HABs on the New York side of Greenwood Lake. Typical algae is often confused with harmful algae. The Village of Greenwood Lake has been working with and in constant communication with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC), NJ DEP, Lake Commission, Town of Warwick and our Greenwood Lake Police Department during this process. The NJ DEP did a flyover of Greenwood Lake, the Village hired a drone company to survey the entire lake, the NY DEC inspected the New York portion of the lake and we remain confident that there are NO signs of HAB in the New York portion of Greenwood Lake.
Although our lake is one body of water, with such a small amount of HAB located in an isolated location, there is little to no chance of it spreading to another part of the lake purely because the lake is contiguous. Conditions must be met throughout the entire lake for algae to bloom at toxic levels throughout the entire lake. I am not saying the NY end of the lake may not see the HABs develop eventually, what I am saying is HABs have NOT developed in the New York side at this point. Rising temperatures and runoff from rain could potentially increase the chance of HABs forming further north.
Here is what I suggest in the meantime – if you are concerned, stay out of the lake. My children and I will be swimming in the lake – weather permitting – until we find evidence of HABs in the NY end. My promise to all of you – you will know as soon as I do if there is any reason to be concerned. Additional water testing was performed this past Friday. The results will be made public as soon as they are available and interpreted. If we find ANY evidence of HABs we will inform the public and take the appropriate action.
This is a link to inform the DEC of potential HABs. https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/66337b887ccd465ab7645c0a9c1bc5c0. Please click the link and include as much info as you can if you see something you believe to be harmful algae. In addition, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above column, written by Village of Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer, has been published in the July 24 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.