Legislation to preserve and restore the state’s largest freshwater lake advance today from the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco, a long-time advocate for state help to ensure Lake Hopatcong remains a recreational and environmental treasure, sponsors the bill (A4097), which dedicates $500,000 annually to the lake’s upkeep.
The measure, passed by an 11-0 vote, is also sponsored by Assemblymen Parker Space and Jay Webber, and Assemblywomen BettyLou DeCroce and Gail Phoebus.
“This lake is an economic engine with a 38-mile shoreline,” said Bucco (R-Morris). “Millions of dollars of revenue are generated each year from vacationers, boaters and recreational fishermen from across the state and around the nation.
“Boating and fishing on the lake have been threatened in recent years by persistent weed growth that has overwhelmed areas, and low water from sedimentation and droughts like the one that inhibited the boating season in 2015,” Bucco continued. “The crucial funding provided by this bill ensures people will be able to enjoy Lake Hopatcong for many years to come.”
Bucco’s bill rededicates money from license fees required to operate power boats on non-tidal waters to the newly established Lake Hopatcong Fund. The money will be used by the Lake Hopatcong Commission for maintenance, management and enhancement of the lake.