Lake repairs aimed at stopping pollution

| 22 Feb 2012 | 07:53

Watershed management group gets approvals for Clove Acres Lake and Clove Brook restoration projects SUSSEX - The Wallkill River Watershed Management Group has received approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to move forward with a set of projects which should help reduce pollution in Clove Acres Lake and prevent flooding at Brookside Park, both in Sussex Borough. According to Nathaniel Sajdak, Wallkill River Watershed Outreach Coordinator, the DEP last month approved the organization’s plans to conduct watershed restoration projects at both Clove Acres Lake and Clove Brook. The work at Clove Acres Lake, which is approximately 34 acres in size, is slated to include the creation of a riparian buffer or vegetation that’s planted to help prevent sediment, phosphorous, pesticides and other pollutants from entering the lake after a heavy rainfall or when the lake has exceeded its banks and later returns, said Sajdak. Sajdak presented the restoration plan to the Sussex Borough Council last spring where the council pledged its support to the restoration project, including any additional assistance that can be provided by the borough’s Department of Public Works. The Wallkill River Watershed Management Group applied for grants with the DEP to fund the restoration projects earlier this month. Sajdak said he hopes to obtain approval for the grants within the next two to three months, which would enable his organization to begin restoration work over the next 12 months, he said. Correcting recurrent flooding The restoration work being directed by Sajdak has another important component. Clove Brook, which runs adjacent to Brookside Park, often overflows its banks and floods the park following a heavy rain, causing recurring damage to the ball fields there. Sajdak said that the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group also plans to do restoration work to Clove Brook, including the removal of stumps and trees, which help cause the waterway to flood after storms. “We’re hoping that the restoration work to Clove Brook will have a positive impact on Brookside Park,” said Sajdak.