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Volunteers needed for Lake Hopatcong cleanup

LAKE HOPATCONG, NJ – As the Lake Hopatcong community prepares for a 60-inch drawdown this fall — done by the state once every five years — the Lake Hopatcong Foundation is calling for volunteers to help remove debris from the exposed lake bed during the Lake Hopatcong Lake-Wide Cleanup to be held on Saturday, Nov. 3.

The 2018 edition of the cleanup aims to bring hundreds of volunteers to Lake Hopatcong to take advantage of the exposed sections of shoreline to scour for debris that was dumped or accidentally lost to the lake over the years.

“We applaud the efforts of the Lake Hopatcong community to take steps to improve this great lake, which is an important environmental, recreational and economic resource to Morris County and neighboring Sussex county,” said Morris County Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, a former mayor of Roxbury Township, which borders Lake Hopatcong.

During the last 60-inch drawdown, more than 400 volunteers accessing the lake from nearly 40 locations, pulled more than 23,000 pounds of debris from the lake bed. A car dashboard, a mannequin, a lawn mower, and silverware were among the thousands of items pulled from the Lake Hopatcong shoreline the last time the lake was lowered five feet, in 2013.

This year, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation is working in partnership with the Lake Hopatcong Commission to again bring residents together to remove accumulated litter and help make the lake a healthier place.

“I still look back on that day five years ago as such an amazing experience, when hundreds of people were working across the miles of shoreline to achieve the same goal of making the lake cleaner,” said Lake Hopatcong Foundation President Jessica Murphy. “We hope folks will come together again this fall and do it all over again. It’s not only a great day for the lake environment, it’s also a lot of fun for those involved.”

To coordinate the removal of all the debris, the Foundation will work in partnership with the Morris and Sussex Counties’ Clean Communities programs, as well as the Departments of Public Works in Hopatcong, Jefferson, Mt. Arlington, and Roxbury.  Bridgestone Tire will be recycling tires pulled from the lake.

The Foundation is trying to recruit 40-to-50 team leaders and hundreds of volunteers. Local groups and organizations are encouraged to assemble cleanup teams. For more information or to sign up, visit lakehopatcongfoundation.org/cleanup2018.

Lakefront home or business owners who are interested in offering an access point for volunteers can email LHF Grants and Programs Director Donna Macalle-Holly at donna@lakehopatcongfoundation.org. For questions, contact the Lake Hopatcong Foundation at 973-663-2500.

The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the lake environment and enhancing the lake experience. To learn more, visit lakehopatcongfoundation.org.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook

(Courtesy Photo: More than 1,100 tires were pulled from the lake during the last lake-wide cleanup in 2013)