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Archive for the ‘Wesley Lake in Ocean Grove’ Category

Asbury Park storm drain along the edge with Wesley Lake. They seem to understand that they are a cause of the problem. Blogfinger photo ©.

 

By Jack Bredin, Blogfinger.net reporter/researcher.

According to the 2015 signed “Agreement of Charter”of the Wesley Lake Commission, both Neptune Township and the City of Asbury Park are in agreement that Wesley Lake needs to be dredged, and the Commission will “provide for the dredging of  said lake.”

Both Neptune and AP will share the cost 50-50.  The cost could be $15 million.

Background:

Before the EPA, the DEP, and the Green Acre Programs were established, the Lake would be dredged by pumping the silt (mud) into the Atlantic, and the Ocean would run black for weeks. The only cost was the electricity to run the pump.

Now, after years of neglect, 6-7 feet of polluted mud has built up at the bottom, leaving only about 2 feet of water on top of the mud. When the water level is low, aerators in the Lake tip over.  The Lake needs to be dredged ASAP.

Fine particles of polluted materials are carried in the water from off the streets and into the Lake by water that is flowing in one direction.  When the water is at rest in the Lake, the fine particles sink to the bottom, and the elevation (level) of the mud and volume of mud builds up over time.

The dam, erected about 150 years ago,  is what causes the fine particles to settle or “sink.”

Pollution in the Lake is concentrated in the mud, not the water.  The water continues to flow over the dam and into the Ocean.  The Wesley Lake Commission tests the water, but not the mud.

Just testing the water and not the mud creates a false impression of the Lake’s health, when in fact, the Lake is dead.

It’s only a matter of time for the Lake to become one big polluted mud-flat with a stream that flows into the Ocean.

It may cost over $15 million to dredge the Lake, remove the dredged material, and repair the dam and the bulkhead.

Without money, the role of the Commission is limited to the “cosmetic look” of the Lake, and for that they do a good job.

However, if one day the DEP or the EPA takes samples of the mud, they may find the detention basin to be a health hazard, and they could order the towns to immediately dredge the Lake and remove the dredged material, and there is no money reserved for that in the budget.

The only other option may be to “cap- over” the mud and fill in the Lake.  Then the land could become “The Wesley Condo Complex.”

Where does the polluted water come from?  It is mostly from Asbury Park and secondarily from County and State Roads,  all of which violate States’ rights over flowing waters, the DEP Land Use Regulations, and Green Acre Contracts.

As for Ocean Grove’s contribution to street-water runoff, there are only a few catch basins that empty into Wesley Lake, and if that water from OG were to be tested, it would probably meet State Standards for discharge into a riparian Lake.

If not, a small detention basin could be locaated underground at the Lake Avenue walkway to treat the Grove’s water at little cost.

The well-intended Wesley Lake Commission has become a liability for the Neptune Township Committee.  Neptune and Ocean Grove did not cause the pollution problems, but may have to pay half the clean-up cost necessary.   If the cleanup is not done, Ocean Grove may lose the Lake and the open space.

So what can we do? The simple answer is to withdraw our membership in the Wesley Lake Commission because they are violating State and Federal Laws, and let the ones who polluted the Lake—AP, the County, and the State pay for the dredging.

 

Link to a 2018 Blogfinger article about coastal lake pollution including Wesley.

8/16/18 BF lake pollution article

 

 

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Lake Avenue. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger © June 8, 2019. Click to enlarge the Wesley Detention/Retention Basin.

 

THE MELLOWS:

 

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19th century map shows that Wesley Lake (Long Pond)  is an estuary. subject to riparian laws.

 

By Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger reporting from Blogfinger.net  on March 10, 2018

As we said in our WASSUP section tickler below, there are those who are coming around to agreeing with Jack Bredin and Blogfinger that Wesley Lake, a waterway with an estuary legacy, is in fact owned by the State of New Jersey who has the authority to make declarations and offer permits about riparian rights.

Those entities include at least one member of the Wesley Lake Commission. Also the same information regarding Shark River was presented at a recent meeting conducted by two Ocean Grove lawyers, experts on riparian rights.

Unfortunately, those two lawyers did not mention Ocean Grove’s riparian concerns involving the Wesley Lake name change, the dumping of dirty street water from Neptune and Asbury Park into the Atlantic Ocean, and Fletcher Lake.

We at Blogfinger intend to continue our update about these matters, but, for those of you who want to know the background, here are some BF links that you should read or re-read. No other media source, nor the Township itself, or the useless Home Groaners, will offer you these insights.  Every day we get at least 500 visits, so over a week or two, you can imagine how many different people might be seeing our posts about the Wesley Lake situation.

Here are some links for your review:

 

Who owns Wesley Lake 2016 BF post

 

2017 post on renaming Wesley Lake

 

Wesley Lake history with Ted Bell BF 2017

 

Environmentalist comments

 

Wesley Lake–an estuary

 

Editor’s note:  We hope to move this ball up the field shortly, so watch for our latest 2019 update.

 

ANITA O’DAY AND CAL TJADER:

 

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Wesley Lake (Retention/Detention basin) Paul Goldfinger © Ocean Grove, New Jersey

ROLLING STONES WITH MICK JAGGER: “Far Away Eyes.”

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Monmouth County Museum. Photo by Surfer.. Click to enlarge.  Reflections from glass.

 

Closeup of opening to the ocean which is shown as a sand bar easily traversed back and forth by the  Ocean.

 

From Surfer, an OG resident:

Paul,
Went to Monmouth County Historical Association museum in Freehold on Saturday
Interesting 1877 watercolor of Wesley Lake from Asbury side.
You may notice two things:
1. Size of lake much larger and lots of boats.
2. Apparently the beach was not connected between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, so the lake could flow in/out. That is why one had to take a ferry boat to/from AP (and later pay a penny to cross a bridge).

Trace the streams into Wesley Lake (Long Pond) and the communication with the Ocean.

Editor’s Note:  There are those affiliated with Neptune Township who have argued that Wesley Lake  (recently named the Wesley Detention-Retention Basin) is a “man made lake.”
Here is a link to one of our posts on that subject:
CARLY SIMON:  From her album Into White

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New Jersey Avenue Bridge across Wesley Lake–OG side. Paul Goldfinger © June, 2018

 

JOHN WILLIAMS AND ITZHAK PERLMAN      Theme from Il Postino:

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Wesley Lake bridge over troubled waters.   Paul Goldfinger ©

By Jack Bredin, reporter/researcher and Paul Goldfinger, editor @Blogfinger.net

The answer to the riddle above is that they both are unclear.

At the last meeting of the Neptune Township Committee, Resolution #18-153 was passed.

In the meeting agenda it says: “Res.#18-153—-Award contract for water quality* management services at Wesley Lake.”     But the kind of “water quality” remediation that this contract will supply has nothing to do with the pollution and toxic destruction of Wesley Lake.   It’s about plant overgrowth, and that is not about water quality in the usual sense of the term.

What we have with this resolution is a  contract with Black Lagoon Pond Management to treat the Lake with chemicals:  herbicides and algicides, to control algae and weeds which tend to overrun the Lake  starting each spring and continuing to September.    Their proposal for Wesley Lake refers to “2017 and 2018 Pond Management.”

The company will be paid about $12,000 to do this, and the cost is shared by Asbury Park and Neptune.  A. Park’s budget is such that they cannot “afford” to share in the cost now, so the Neptuners will pay their half now, while A. Park will come up with their part later in the year.

According to the Black Lagoon proposal, Wesley Lake is in “The City of Neptune Park.”  This company has “more than 40 years of combined regional experience” but they cannot figure out which town they are working for.

In the contract, Black Lagoon says, “Aquatic plant and algal densities in ponds are sustained by runoff inputs from the surrounding watershed.  Run-off typically carries high nutrient concentrations from fertilizers, rich soils, septic leach fields and waterfowl wastes directly into the  ponds.  Elevated levels of nutrients and warm water temperatures create conditions favorable for algal and weed growth. Until such time as the root cause of nuisance growth in the pond can be mitigated, a seasonal regime of chemical treatment can maintain an acceptable level of water quality.”

So, have any of you seen a farm with heavy fertilizer use in Asbury or OG, or septic fields, or rich soils (we have sand,) or huge flocks of pooping waterfowls?”  No, what Black Lagoon left out was the toxic water pouring into the Lake from (mostly) Asbury and Neptune street runoff as well as OG street runoff.  (minimal.)   That is the main source of the water quality issues in the Wesley Detention-Retention Basin. As for the “watershed,” there is no watershed map in existence that we know of.

In their contract, they say that the plant life which they will be destroying represents “nuisance growth.”  So this plant life of weeds and algae is largely a cosmetic problem and  does not begin to get at the actual pollution found in the Lake, and especially in the mud which allows only a few feet of water to exist at the surface.  About the only benefit to the Lake ecology is to prevent plants from choking off oxygen which fish need.  But will the chemicals harm the fish?  It’s possible.

Water testing is done regularly by another company   (bacterial counts, pH, gasoline, heavy metals, etc)  but they don’t test the mud.

So Black Lagoon thinks we are discussing a pond and they think that the chemicals which they use to kill rogue plants would “maintain an acceptable level of water quality,” but is what they do really achieving “water quality?”

They also say that the chemicals which they use are monitored by NJDEP.

So, what will the two towns do to address the most serious issues affecting water quality in the Lake including toxic and dirty  street water runoff?  As the contractor says, to get clean water,  the “root cause of  runoff into the Lake must be mitigated.”

And a key element which would be needed is dredging of the entire Lake, and that could cost millions.

It is fake news on the part of Neptune Township to give the impression that $12,000 spent on Black Lagoon will improve “water quality” in the Lake.  These Neptuners have their heads in the sand, and they are playing peek-a-boo with the citizens who care about Wesley Lake.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN:  From the Seeger Sessions

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Neptune Township Committee Room at the Mother Ship….Is anyone listening at the dais?

 

Wesley Lake by Paul Goldfinger ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor and Jack Bredin, Reporter/Researcher  @Blogfinger.net

At the end of each Committee meeting,  citizens finally have the chance to bring up any subject they wish, even if it is not on the agenda. The only problem is that the speaker who steps to the microphone only has 5 minutes.  Typically, during that 5 minutes, the Committeemen do not interrupt, although they may. But the real problem is that they rarely actually respond to a citizen’s comments. When your time is up, you must stop speaking.

Jack Bredin goes to most of those meetings, and when he is there, he makes a point to speak for 5 minutes during the “privilege of the floor” also known as the “public comments” portion. He prepares his remarks very carefully and he reads what he has prepared.

At the February 26 Monday meeting, Jack decided to focus on the naming of Wesley Lake on the official Township Tax map where it no longer says Wesley Lake; it says Wesley Detention/Retention Basin.  We have written a number of posts about this issue.  You can use the search box at the top right and type in Wesley Lake or other key words.

When we post a number of articles about a subject, we always try to move the ball up the field with something new, as we do now.   But repetition is also valuable as a teaching tool.

Below is the key point which  Jack made on this occasion when speaking  to the 3 Township fathers who were present.

“The name change of Wesley Lake to “Wesley Detention/Retention Basin” on the Tax Map is ineffective because the Tax Map is now inconsistent with all other Township maps that identify this body of water as public open space reserved for recreation and conservation.

“All Township maps must be consistent in identifying Wesley Lake as either a lake or a detention/retention basin.  It cannot be both, and the Township Committee is responsible for all these maps and their consistencies.  All Township maps must be reviewed every six years.”

 

Editor’s note:  The Committee has to make a clear choice on behalf of the public.  Are our tax dollars and grant money to go towards restoring “Wesley Lake” for the enjoyment of all the residents, or will the money go to help a few local developers by designating the lake as the “Wesley Detention/Retention Basin?”

Blogfinger believes that the Township Committee has already made the choice when it named the chartered governing group the “Wesley Lake Commission” and not the “Wesley Detention/Retention Basin Commission.”  This naming discrepancy among the various maps needs to be resolved because those two names imply totally different functions for that body of water and it effects whether or not dirty street water can be permitted to enter the lake.

An important fact is that the Tax Map is the official map of Neptune Township, and only the Committee can make changes.  Yet, at a previous Committee meeting, no member of the Committee recalled  approving this change.    Of all the maps in town, this one is the only one that refers to Wesley Lake as a Detention/Retention Basin.  The Asbury side calls it “Wesley Lake” as do all the other Neptune maps including the Master Plan map, the Zoning maps, the ROSI maps and the (missing) water shed map.

The ROSI is an inventory of recreational and open spaces in a town. This list ties into Green Acres funding. Wesley Lake is on that list.

Here is a link regarding this topic from last November. This post is important, and be sure to read the comments as well:

B.B. Wesley Lake name change controversy

CONNIE FRANCIS    It’s Italy day on Blogfinger:

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Wesley Lake postcard.   Undated. Click these postcards for more detail.

Notice how rural the Asbury side appears. There are many trees there which are mostly all gone now.  There are boats at both shores, but especially on the Ocean Grove side.  Lake Avenue appears to be a boardwalk , and clearly it was not intended to be a street. There is no bulkhead back then.

From Ted Bell:

In the early 1800’s there were seven coastal bodies of water from Avon to Long Branch draining into the Atlantic Ocean. By size Deal Lake was the largest with Long Pond (later, Wesley Lake) as the smallest. Years passed, and Wesley Lake became more of a recreational area with over 300 boats available for pleasure and transfer of people from and to the camp meeting grounds of Ocean Grove.

Eventually bridges were built connecting Ocean Grove to Asbury Park.  Tolls were collected and shared by the two communities, until the cost of the bridge was paid from the tolls collected.

As a coastal lake Wesley Lake had a natural opening to the ocean. Tides occurred every 12 hours as there was no natural barrier to the flow of sea water into and out of the Lake. Early pictures show a debris line along with some vegetation along the lake shore with a band of sand/silt further up on the sides.  This is an indication of tidal action.

Several dams were constructed at the ocean end, turning the Lake into a fresh water lake. The tidal line disappeared. The Lake, over the years, became a silt basin with occasional overflows from heavy rain storms. The question of  State Riparian Rights is not addressed in the Annual Reports of the Camp Meeting.  The area around Fairly Island was also filled.

At some time the Lake was bulk-headed. The two level terraces from Pilgrim Pathway to the ocean were filled , and a cement wall was constructed (? PA project.)  The rest of the lake was bulk-headed.   The bulkhead eliminated most of the pleasure boats due to docking problems of the passengers embarking/disembarking from the boats.

ANNIE LENNOX  from her album Nostalgia:

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Submitted by Ocean Grover Vincent Cannavo. Special to Blogfinger. Click to see more  (or Seymour.)

Vincent Cannavo found a number of Wesley Lake photographs on line which carry a copyright date of 1903, although the photos may have been taken earlier.  In this image  you are standing on the OG side  of the Lake. We can see boats for hire as well as the A. Park amusements. Vincent points out how different Asbury looked back then, although the OG side (we will show more of these images) looks unchanged.  Notice how Lake Avenue was a walkway back then.  No horse poop in sight.

That’s not surprising because the OG side managed to be a planned town, and the Victorian houses were somehow preserved even though there was no zoning, HPC or historical designations.

We could use some insight from those of you whose families are multi-generational in the Grove.

What else do our readers see in this photo?   Thanks to Vincent for these images.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

ANDY FARBER AND HIS ORCHESTRA  WITH JOHN HENDRICKSON AND TERRY DONGIAN

 

 

 

 

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