Archive for the ‘Wesley Lake’ Category

Walking towards Asbury via New Jersey Ave. bridge. August 17, 2019. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge.




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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



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Wesley Lake Bridge on the OG side. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

By Paul Goldfinger and Jack Bredin.  Blogfinger.net.

Breaking news.  10 am, Tuesday, June 25, 2019:

By tonight, Blogfinger will post a full report about what occurred at the Neptune Township Committee meeting last night, June 24,  when a crew of Parkers showed up to complain about the two bridges which connect OG with AP.

And they came with representatives of the Wesley Lake Commission.  Since when does the WLC  get political and go after its twin sister:  Neptune?  Aren’t they supposed to deal with the Lake?

The complaint is nothing new: It’s regarding the locking of those bridges every day by the Neptune Police, from midnight to 5 am, for purposes of crime prevention.

In addition to crime fighting, the policy also may impact the invasion of the parking snatchers which occurs as A. Parkers seek a free ride on the OG side, leaving their cars there and then strolling across the bridges to enjoy the dissolute pleasures at “sin city.”

Pending our later report, you can review our last Blogfinger article about this topic from ten days ago, after  the Coaster ran the first shot across our bow, at least the first since a few years ago.

Bridgegate BF article from 10 days ago

link to 2016 post:     2016 Bridgegate article.


Tune in tonight for our latest report on this newly inflamed clash with the Yahoos.com  from A. Park.

Let it not be said that those troublemakers from the North burned their bridges behind them years ago.  Bridgegate is back!


BAND OF THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION AND THE BAND OF THE H.M. ROYAL MARINES:  “A Bridge Too Far.”   From the album of great war themes  from the movies.

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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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