Archive for the ‘Wesley Lake pollution’ Category



Swan Boats:  Jean Bredin photographs the only wildlife on the Lake that is immune to filthy water.  There is an illusion of clarity in this sunny photo. by “Around Town With Jean.” © August 29, 2019 re-post.


Stephen Goldfinger, Blogfinger staff, documents the mucky, dirty water in Wesley Lake.


Ducks manage to survive in Wesley Lake 8/29/19 by Stephen Goldfinger.  Lately  2021  he has reported on the great blue heron who comes here.


Somehow there is wildlife in Wesley Lake:  herons, cormorants, swooping birds, turtles, fish and more, but this can’t be good for them.

Have you noticed that no  human swims or fishes in this lake? Would you eat any fish that is caught here?

What will OGNED, the North End pseudo-redeveloper, do to help the situation, and where does A. Park, the biggest polluter, stand on this matter? OGNED recently said that they will clean the water at the North End.  What assurances did they give the DEP?

Large sums of money would be needed for dredging, but the dirty ground water runoff must be dealt with for an ultimate solution.

If you live in Ocean Grove you can’t help but be cynical regarding ecological help at all levels of government.  It’s good that the Wesley Lake Commission has abandoned its Don Quixote-like quest for justice under Bridgegate   (2019).  They need to keep their noses close to the ground to help Wesley Lake.


BARRY MANILOW:  In contrast to the frog’s plea, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” here is Barry with a squeaky-clean musical  image to enjoy.


Read Full Post »

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.


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



Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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:

Read Full Post »

Ocean Grove, NJ, October, 2017. Protecting our lakes and ocean within our boundaries. Riparian rights. Paul Goldfinger ©.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

An environmentalist with knowledge of Ocean Grove discussed some aspects of the Wesley Lake situation with Blogfinger.  We focused on two issues:  One is the ecology of the Lake and what to do about it, while the other is regarding the name change on the Neptune Township tax map from “Wesley Lake” to “Wesley Retention Detention Basin.” Regarding the latter, he brought up concerns about jurisdiction, as to who is allowed to make changes to the Lake, such as the name.

1. Ecology.   It is his opinion that unless something is done “soon” to fix Wesley Lake, it will eventually turn into “a swamp.”  He sees the “silt” buildup  (“siltation”) on the bottom of the Lake as a the major issue now, with buildup that needs to be measured “right down to the original bottom.”  He says that the deepest part of the Lake is at the west side, and that would be where the deepest  buildup  of silt is located, and that the situation has “gone from bad to worse.”

He says that the west end already operates as a “sink”  (where water has no way out,) and that there are too many “drains” dumping street water and its contaminants into the Lake. He believes that aggressive dredging could produce a result that would allow for clean water and the result could last for a long time. But he is not an engineer.

Regarding the  original stream that brought fresh water into the lake, he thinks that the development  around the Lake forced the Lake’s managers to fill in that stream while capturing the stream’s flow using a “pipe” which, he believes, still supplies water to the Lake.

2. Name change.  Our environmentalist says that the only way a name change could be done legally would be to obtain a “riparian right grant” from the NJ DEP and then to pass a Neptune Township resolution to go ahead. But he knows of no such resolution or grant. He says that the land under the Lake is owned by the State of New Jersey.  He also questions whether Neptune Township received a riparian grant for the bulkhead wall  (we do know that God did not build it) or for the dam at the east end.

The same would apply for the Asbury side where a wall was built of metal years ago, and more recently a dock was built for the swan boats currently operating there. Did AP get riparian grants for those projects?

Definitions:  Riparian water rights  is a system for allocating permits among those who possess land along a waterway’s path.  The quotes below are from a variety of sources:

“The general rule is that the State of New Jersey holds title to all lands now or formerly flowed by tidal waters.” That would be Wesley Lake.

“Riparian rights are the rights of owners adjacent to tide-lands to be the first to request the use of those areas. These lands are owned by all of the people of the State of New Jersey, so you must get permission from the State for the primary use of these lands in the form of a tide-lands license, lease or grant, and you must pay for this use.”

“Influenced by Roman civil law, the tenets of public trust were maintained through English Common Law and adopted by the original 13 colonies, each in their own form. The grants that form the basis of the titles to private property in New Jersey never conveyed those public trust rights, which were reserved to the Crown.”

“Following the American Revolution, the royal rights to tidal waterways and their shores were vested in the 13 new states, then each subsequent state, and have remained a part of law and public policy into the present time. Tidal waterways and their shores always were, and remain, subject to and impressed with these public trust rights.”

“All lands and waters extending seaward of the Mean High Water  line are held in trust by the state of NJ on behalf of the public. The rights of the public are vested in the state as owner and trustee. These publicly owned lands include tidelands, shores of tidal rivers and streams, the land beneath oceans and tidal rivers and streams (submerged lands) and filled lands formerly flowed by the tide”   (There also are some areas east of the MHW that are subject to the same rules.)

Our consultant believes that the Wesley Lake Commission should contact the NJ DEP to learn if the projects previously implemented at the Lake were legitimized by riparian rights permits; and whether that infamous name change was done with DEP permission.  If not, the name should be changed back to Wesley Lake supported by a resolution from the Township Committee.

RITCHIE VALENS    “We Belong Together.”


Read Full Post »

Wesley Lake muck at the west end. Paul Goldfinger photograph March, 2017. ©


Wesley Lake bridge over dirty waters. Paul Goldfinger photo ©



By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

The Wesley Lake cleanup is a fine gesture, but it is essentially cosmetic and useless in terms of the fundamental problems that have been identified regarding the pollution of the Lake.  This event consists of some kids and adults spending 3 hours picking up trash lying around the edges of the Lake.

One boat will be out on the Lake to try to do something about floating debris.  This event is run by one of the OG members of the Wesley Lake Commission who also wears a hat representing the Friends of Wesley Lake.

If you want to know more about the serious issues facing the Lake’s ecology, just do a Blogfinger search in the box above and type in “Wesley Lake.”

And here is a link to our latest post on this subject:

Wesley Lake at a crossroads. May, 2017 BF post


THE STANDELLS:   “Dirty Water”     This song was suggested by Interlocutor.  It’s by a Boston rock band that is referring to the dirty water in the River Charles, but it can rub elbows with Blogfinger as we talk about the dirty water in Wesley Lake (minus the “frustrated women, the muggers, and the thieves.”)

Read Full Post »

Wesley Lake. OG is to the right. Paul Goldfinger photo © Undated

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

June 27, 2017.  The Wesley Lake Commission was meeting in Neptune.  A new chair was taking over, Gayle Rosewater, and some new members were present.  Other than the Commission members, only 4 others were in attendance—me, Jack Bredin, an  engineer from Maser Consulting, and a newly appointed, but not yet sworn- in, Commission member, Ocean Grover Susan Tyler.

No one representing the Friends of Wesley Lake was there—how friendly is that?  And no neighbors who live around Wesley Lake on either side were in the audience either. The Commission seems top heavy with Asburians, but they should be gaining two more Neptuners.  As Jack pointed out to them, they had no agenda and no recording system.

But the meeting was lively and covered a great many topics in the course of about two hours. The emphasis was on the dilemma of what to do about the dirty water in the Lake.  As you may know from a number of prior Blogfinger articles, the main cause of the deterioration in the Lake is the constant inflow of polluted ground water, mostly from Neptune Township, but also from Asbury Park.  The meeting was a sort of potpourri of pollution topics, and as we have noted earlier, the Commission seemed to be interested in looking into remediation methodologies for cleaning the Lake.

Each of the topics could take up a meeting, so we will make a list and briefly define what was mentioned during this sweeping Commission session:

Consultant.  An engineer was present to discuss the “water quality ” in the Lake. No one explained who hired him, and that is something that needs to be cleared up, because he seems to have been brought in to make the false case that the Lake is a man-made entity.  That is no small distinction if someone in the shadows is thinking about filling in the “detention-retention basin” in the future. We think the Commission should choose their engineer and it should be one who is independent.  This one is flawed, and the Neptune engineer should not be chosen either due to conflicts of interest.

Water quality.  It was agreed that the water is “not the best.” The Lake  is a “sink” for dirty ground water to collect, and nothing is currently being done about that. After a rain last week, one could smell oil in the water which also contains grass clippings, floatables, geese droppings, ammonia, and salt.  There was no result for nitrogen.    A Commissioner described it as “terrible.”  Herbicides were used recently for pond weeds.

Jurisdiction. Jack Bredin questioned the legitimacy of the Commission because the current Agreement of Charter amendment has not been properly completed with signatures of parties from both towns, with dates, seals, and with a proper water-shed map. This is important because the jurisdiction of the Commission is to be defined by that map, and the Commission has top power over the Lake, even above the two towns.

Remediation of water conditions.  The engineer said that there are too many “points of entry” of dirty water into the Lake to be handled at each location. He also expressed doubt that a treatment plant to clean the water prior to its entry into the Lake could be accomplished. The DPW representative from Neptune said that “it would cost $700 million. ”  He sarcastically meant that it would be financially not possible, but he is probably wrong.

Turn the Lake back to its natural state as an estuary. No one there mentioned that, but we have reported it in Blogfinger.  Our articles on Wesley Lake can be reviewed by typing “Wesley Lake” into our search box on the top right of this page.

Turn the lake into a treatment facility:  The engineer brought this up.  He said that as the lake fills with filth it becomes a retention/detention basin  (which is what Neptune currently calls it) and “then you don’t have a lake anymore.”  This sounds to us as a set-up for developers to eventually call for filling in the “basin” to provide more land for development and for avoiding the ground water problem as it currently exists.

Flow issues:   The water quality is an issue, but so is the amount of water flowing into the lake.  The current  storm water management systems on both sides (infrastructure) are inadequate when there are heavy rain storms.  The systems fill up and then flooding occurs.

Time for the Mayor of Neptune to resign.  Mayor Brantley is on the Commission and he seems impatient with the situation. He said, “We’re wasting a lot of time now.”  He also pressured the Commission to appoint the Neptune Engineer to guide them.  This would be a  mistake.

Definition of “watershed.”  Wesley Lake is a “tidal waterway” and, as such, is subject to public trust rights. It is reserved for recreation by the Green Acres program of the DEP.  The watershed refers to all the natural water sources that feed into the Lake. It does not pertain to streets and storm sewers. The Commission has to be a proper steward of that watershed.  The watershed map should be revealing once it is revealed, and it should not contain streets. It should be signed by a licensed engineer.

Ethical behavior of Commission members. At the end of the meeting, there was a public portion. Jack Bredin got up and raised a number of issues with the Commission, some of which were critical.   Jack told them that his agenda was the same as theirs—-to save Wesley Lake.  But at one tense point a Commissioner, the DPW representative from Neptune Township, out of order,  shouted out to Jack “What is your agenda?”   One of other Commissioners was horrified and said so.  That Commissioner who verbally abused a citizen should be formally censored by the Commission.

Blogfinger will try to find out what’s it all about Alfie.

Researcher: Jack Bredin of Ocean Grove; Blogfinger staff.



Read Full Post »

Sent by citizen reporters Susan and Barry Krumm reportng from the North End beach.. 5/31/17

The Rainbow Connection. Ocean Pathway. Ocean Grove. 2013 Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, MD.   Editor @Blogfinger

Does this advisory surprise you?  The Monmouth County Health Dept has been checking* the ocean water every Monday for many years at 50 ocean sites, and, it turns out, Ocean Grove has had a tendency to have worse problems than other beaches in our area.  Our water tests positive* for enterococci (coliforms) derived from feces more often.  Tomorrow, the Health Dept will close our beaches if the count remains too high, not only at the North End, but also at the South End.

Why should our beaches be more of a problem than others?  The general answer is that we are situated between two “ocean lakes”—Wesley and Fletcher which collect dirty street water which then runs off into the ocean. The fecal bacteria could be traced  to inland infrastructure failures  (ie sewer lines leaking) but mostly it is from dirty street water runoff, and oftentimes the source of that bacteria is animal feces.

The high counts get worse when there are rain storms—which the Dept of Health, in a  rare moment of humor, refers to as “crappy weather.”

And there are other issues for Ocean Grove. Wesley Lake receives a huge volume of street water during storms, and Wesley Lake itself has higher temperatures than other area lakes (? reason) and it receives a large amount of “nutrients”  (nitrates and phosphates ? from fertilizers.)

Whenever an area is “built out,” the amount of dirty water runoff increases, and guess what:  The Ocean Grove side of Wesley Lake is worse than the Asbury part because there is a four foot pipe that carries street runoff from NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP—an area reaching from Neptune  Rt. 35 and Neptune Boulevard all the way east to the Lake.

Regarding Wesley Lake, the Health Dept. Specialist that I spoke to refers to the Wesley Lake water condition as being “pretty bad.” But, he believes that the main source of the enterococci detected in our ocean test is NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP.

He says that “detention basin” is not a bad name for what goes on there because since the ocean end of the Lake was essentially closed off in the past, the Lake became the place where rainwater runoff sits.

And  the Township has not shared that bacterial information with us nor has the Wesley Lake Commission, unless they are ignorant of this issue.

The County Health Department is currently embarking on a two year study of Wesley Lake, and when it is over, they will look at possible remediation recommendations.   But because Neptune, Ocean Grove, and Asbury are so built up, it isn’t clear that they can do anything to fix the infrastructure  (old sewer lines.) Perhaps they will make other recommendations. 

We received today’s  information from David Sorenson, Environmental Health Specialist at the Monmouth County Health Dept. Their phone number is 732 431 7456, and I would suggest that the Wesley Lake Commission and the Friends of Wesley Lake jot down his phone number.  He also recommends a web site where the data can be reviewed:

NJDEP Coastal Monitoring

—–*Coastal Cooperative Beach Program

Read Full Post »

Map reference courtesy of Carl Swenson  (OG).   Click to see details. Note island in the Lake and the east termination to the ocean.

Click for enlarged details.   Note a large stream feeding into or next to Wesley Lake originating in the Whitesville area. Where is that stream today?  You can imagine how pristine the Lake water was back then, at least 150 years ago; much different from today, despite what the “professor” on the Wesley Lake Commission says. ©  Reposted from prior Blogfinger article.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.

In our last article about Wesley Lake, we have a quote from a “professor/scientist” on the Commission who said,  ” “The condition of Wesley Lake is the same now as it has been for the last 10,000 years.”  But above is a map from around the time of the founding of Ocean Grove.  You can see that even since then, things are different.

In the top map there is an island at the west end—now gone.  And you can see that the east end of the Lake swings eastward to terminate at the Ocean, something which no longer exists.  That is when the Lake was an estuary   (Wikipedia:   ” An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.” )

The lower map shows a large water-way heading towards Wesley Lake, and note how the lake opens directly into the Ocean. There are other maps that show feeder stream water sources  emptying into the Lake from the west; now gone.


TIN PENNY    “Jersey Shore.”


Read Full Post »

“Low Tide at Wesley Lake”  Blogfinger photo.©

Water  near the retaining wall by Founders’ Park in OG. Blogfinger  (Stephen Goldfinger)  photo. 12/7/16 © Click it and then take a deep breath. Is it any wonder that not a single bird was in sight?

Wesley Lake, west end. March 28, 2017. Paul Goldfinger photo © Click to enlarge. Photograph from the muckrakers at Blogfinger–Paul Goldfinger.© March, 2017.

By Jack Bredin, researcher and reporter for Blogfinger.net  and Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net

Blogfinger has posted a variety of articles about Wesley Lake pollution. Today we feature yet another piece on that subject which contains some new elements which we have not addressed before.

Q:  The Lenape Indians used Wesley Lake as a source of food.  Now the Lake is reserved for recreation and conservation—-or is it?

A:  According to the Neptune township Tax Map (effective Jan. 1, 2015) Wesley Lake is now a municipal facility to be used to treat dirty street-water runoff. The Lake’s name has been changed to ” Wesley Detention/Retention  Basin” under the supervision of the Departments of Public Works.

Q: Who is responsible for this?

A:  It starts with the Neptune Township Committee along with the Mayor and Council of Asbury Park.   The  two governing bodies are in  charge, so  the buck stops with them, or in this case, the pollution starts and stops with them.    Officials from both towns took an oath  that would include managing the welfare of the Lake for recreational use.  It should be noted that most of the dirty street-water runoff comes from AP.

Q: How did this happen?

A:  It happened when the mayors of both Neptune and AP took their charters and hung them on the developers’ walls.

Q:  Who can correct this plethora of problems involving the Lake’s rehabilitation and restoration?

A: The Wesley Lake Commission. Or can they?  Jack attended a meeting of the Commission on May 16, 2017, and suggested that they should not allow street-water runoff to enter the Lake because that is causing the Lake to be polluted. And the streets are not part of the Lake’s natural watershed.


A member of the Wesley Lake Commission representing Neptune’s DPW  (Dept. of Public Works) said, “The streets are in the ‘watershed area,’  and in New Jersey you are permitted by the Dept. of Environmental Protection to allow street water runoff to drain into a lake.”

But the “watershed area” includes all the land that drains into the lake, and by that definition, it does includes street run-off.  But there is a semantic issue here.  He would be correct if the streets were a part of the Lake’s “natural watershed” and not just “in the watershed area.”    The”natural water-shed area”  is desirable, but dirty street water is not part of that.

So his argument boils down to “let’s keep polluting the Lake illegally.”

You might have noticed the Rainwater Garden near the train station in Asbury Park.  That is an example of a desirable “natural” water-shed area where the rain is purified by the soil and plantings and then the clean water drains into the lake.

And if the name change from Wesley Lake to “Wesley Detention/Retention Basin” had been done legally by Resolution of the Neptune Committee with permission from the New Jersey DEP Green Acres Program,  then the streets would become “the watershed” for a detention/retention basin, but there was no such Resolution or Green Acres permission.  Note that a detention/retention basin is an actual structural facility to clean the water draining into the Lake. So far all we have is a name change on the Neptune Tax Map.  We don’t even have a map that shows the Lake’s water-shed. And we don’t know where A. Park stands on this, but we can guess.

So what’s in a name?–in this case, nothing.

Another member of the Commission said, “The condition of Wesley Lake is the same now as it has been for the last 10,000 years, and the condition of the Lake’s mud is a naturally occurring condition found in every lake.”

We think the dead fish never got the professor’s message.  And, we have to remind the professor, that 10,000 years ago they were first brewing beer in Mesopotamia, but there are no records of what Wesley Lake looked like then.  We barely know about it from records of 1869. We do know that it was much different than it is now—then it was a full blown estuary.

And don’t forget, the water may look or test clear sometimes, but what toxins are trapped in the mud? They don’t test the mud, only the water, and how often do they test the water?

We may be at a crossroads, but we still have the choice of which road to take, before it is too late:

1. “The road to recovery:”  Stopping the dirty street water from entering the Lake would be the first step in the Lake’s road to recovery
2. “The road to “Condo-City:”  This road would be a fantasy by certain factions in Ocean Grove who might see the Lake as a dead-end street where the polluted silt (ie mud)  builds up to a point where dredging and disposing of all that polluted mud becomes economically unfeasible.
And that leads to a scripted conclusion that it would be more cost effective to “cap” the mud, fill in the Lake, and build some modern, up-to-date condominiums.  It could happen!







Read Full Post »

“Black and Blue” Wesley Lake in May, 2014. Photograph by Bob Bowné. © Special to Blogfinger.

By Jack Bredin, Researcher @Blogfinger and Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In August, 2012,  Committeeman Michael Brantley, the local expert on Wesley Lake, said,   “We are trying to get this lake restored to its original beauty.”

In  December, 2016, we were visiting the Land Use Department of the Neptune Township Mother Ship. We were at the counter occupied  by the Assistant Land Use Administrator–George Waterman. On the counter were some educational  fliers.

One of them seemed interesting: “Solutions to Stormwater Pollution.”   The brochure said, “Stormwater pollution is one of New Jersey’s greatest threats to clean and plentiful water, and that’s why we’re all doing something about it.”

Below is a link to a recent article on Blogfinger about our effort to discuss that brochure with Waterman.

2016 article on Blogfinger about dirty Wesley Lake

Here is an introduction to our plan:

1. The expectation of area residents to use Wesley Lake for recreation is reasonable.

2. The Neptune Township Committee and the Wesley Lake Commission’s plan to use Wesley Lake as a municipal facility to treat polluted street water is unreasonable.

3. When “Penny” commented on a Blogfinger article “Muck, Slime and Garbage in Beautiful Wesley Lake,” she said, “Why doesn’t the Wesley Lake Commission get in touch with the DEP?  I understand they have cleaned up other lakes in our area.”

4.  Jack Bredin replied to that comment saying, “We must first develop a plan to eliminate the source of the pollution that is going into the Lake, then the DEP will assist.”

5.   On March 27, 2017, Jack Bredin attended the latest meeting of the Neptune Township Committee. He wanted to acquaint them with our plan to help remediate the filth in Wesley Lake.  As Jack was speaking, Neptune Township Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta  rolled his eyes and laughed at the proposal.

The only reply from the Committee was from Mayor Michael Brantley who is also a member of the Neptune Planning Board and the Chairman of the Wesley Lake Commission, and he said, “Your five minutes are up.”  The rest of the Committee members at the meeting reserved their right to remain silent.

So here we are, at our very own megaphone, to fill the vacuum with free speech.   Below are the Blogfinger suggestions to restore Wesley Lake:

a.  The Wesley Lake Commission, Neptune Township, and Asbury Park, working together, should prepare an engineering plan to divert all street water run-off pipes that drain into Wesley Lake into one pipe that drains into a new detention basin for treatment before being released into the Ocean. This would stop polluted water from entering the Lake and the Ocean.

b. Drain the Lake and remove all the polluted mud.

c. As most of the water that flows into Wesley Lake is from the streets, and that will be cut off, it will be necessary to establish a new supply of water, and we have one located several hundred feet to the east.

d. Build a small pump-station next to the Lake’s outflow pipe that would pump water from the Atlantic Ocean into the lake when necessary.  The Lake would then be as clean as the Ocean.

e. This process was used to supply the Palisades Amusement Park’s swimming pool with water.  (“That’s where the girls are.”)

If any of our readers have a plan, let’s hear from you.







Read Full Post »