Question: What have we learned since Part 1?
Answer: There may be some hope to save Wesley Lake as long as there are dedicated citizens like Patricia (Tee) Lesinski, a member of the Wesley Lake Commission, and Keith Fiori, a Board member of “Friends and Citizens for Wesley Lake.”
But Tee and Keith, along with the other committed volunteers working towards the rehabilitation of the Lake, are in an uphill battle, until fish start making campaign contributions to environmentally interested political candidates.
Or when more concerned citizens start showing up at meetings as suggested by Tee and Keith. The world is run by people who attend meetings and share their concerns on the record. While most of us were at home watching “Dancing With the Stars,” the politicians were “Dancing With the Developers,” and giving away Wesley Lake.
What can be done short of an investigation by the NJ State Attorney General?
First, we must insist that the Neptune Township Committee explain the Wesley Lake name change as seen on the current Tax Map (above.) That change was made without a formal resolution at the Committee. That new name suggests that the Lake is to become a municipal facility with some sort of mechanism to clean Lake water and deal with the runoff from the OG North End Redevelopment. Or is the name change a hoax or smokescreen to deceive those who would approve the NERP?
The Tax Map is the official map, and all other Municipal, Commission, County, State DEP and Green Acre maps that identify the Lake must be consistent with the Neptune Township Tax Map, or the Committee must change the name back from “Wesley Detention/Retention Basin” to “Wesley Lake”—a name which it has had for nearly 150 years.
Then, as a start, Blogfinger has suggested that the Master Plans and Redevelopment Plans in both Asbury Park and Ocean Grove be revisited and reviewed to address the street-water run-off that flows into Wesley Lake. The dirty-water run-off into the Lake, mostly from AP, is the main source of pollution in the Lake.
In the photograph on top*, you can see a large empty lot where rainwater simply soaks into the ground, not into the Lake. But that property will be developed, and all that water run-off will be added to the flow into the Lake. The southern area of AP is replete with condominiums, high rises, paved parking lots, roads, and curbs which guide water to sewers. This drainage area includes the dense commercial blocks around Cookman Avenue and on Main Street. And the development of AP is still active with new and planned construction which creates additional run-off into the Lake.
Treating the Lake pollution with chemicals and having periodic dredging and cleanups is just “kicking the cans down the road.” If the amount of dirty water keeps running into the Lake in increasing amounts with each new development, then the situation will keep getting worse. And that spotlight will shine on Ocean Grove if the North End plan gets going as currently designed.
Clearly, dealing with the dirty water before it reaches the Lake and restoring the estuary are two significant ways to solve much of the problem and will greatly reduce the need for Lake chemicals, cleanups and dredging. And it will bring back natural life to Wesley Lake and reduce pouring dirty water into the Ocean.
Maybe Ocean Grove could once again have Illumination Night on the Lake along with boating, fishing and other recreational activities which can improve life styles in town and bring back the historic waterway that we had over 100 years ago.
JOHN WILLIAMS and the BOSTON POPS ORCHESTRA: