Posts Tagged ‘Wesley Lake Commission’

Paul Goldfinger © Wesley Lake looking towards Ocean Grove.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

June 27, 2017.       The Wesley Lake Commission  got  off to a good start tonight  when they began their meeting with a spirited discussion regarding the main cause of Wesley Lake pollution— storm water drainage from the streets of Neptune Township and Asbury Park.   The Commission clearly didn’t know much about how to remediate the problem but they were anxious to learn.

They brought in a consultant from Maser  Company of Red Bank, Joseph Raftery, P.E.  He had been asked to review the results of Wesley Lake water quality monitoring.

He said that his company had one of their Ecological Services project managers review the data, and Raftery did a pretty good job of discussing the situation.  But unfortunately he made a mistake that cast a cloud over his expertise.  He insisted that Wesley Lake is “man- made.”

His report went on to say, “The water quality results are consistent with most man-made lakes in a coastal plain.”  He said that the “storm water runoff that enters the Wesley Lake brings in nitrogen and phosphates, resulting in a retention pond and/or “sink.”

But Jack and I were concerned when he based his opinions on the notion that the Lake  is man-made.  We have studied the history which clearly shows that Wesley Lake was a natural body of water—an estuary—when the town was founded in 1869.  We posted old maps that showed large streams entering from the west,  and the Lake connecting to and draining naturally into the ocean.  It is true that the Lake was dammed in the past, but water from the Lake still winds up in the ocean.

We have discussed trying to return the lake to an estuary—-ie its natural state.  Raftery never used the E word.

As the meeting ended, Raftery tried to exit quickly, but I caught up with him and asked him why he characterized the Lake as being man-made.  He refused to answer the question as he scurried down the stairs and out the door to the parking lot, saying that he “would not speak to a blog.”   He knew that we were from Ocean Grove.

Why did he refuse to answer a legitimate question about his analysis?  Why wouldn’t he speak to a citizen?  Perhaps he is not the right engineer to be a consultant for a public entity such as the Commission.

We will review some more of his presentation tomorrow, but it is all now suspect.

THE CAMBRIDGE SINGERS.  “For the Beauty of the Earth.”  John Rutter


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Wesley Lake looking east from Ocean Grove. Blogfinger file photo. ©

Wesley Lake looking east from Ocean Grove. Blogfinger file photo. ©

Last night I attended the Wesley Lake Commission monthly meeting with my wife.  While  waiting for the the meeting to start we were remarking that the turnout was not great.  Much to our surprise, when the meeting started, the officials were overwhelmed by the turnout—-about 20 people.


The public part of the meeting seemed very productive.  I believe the well-thought-out comments helped to focus the Commission on the task at hand.  The next meeting is October 21st.  A really solid turnout of 50 or so and we might really see action improving the deplorable condition of the historic and valuable local resource.


Please spread the word as you do so well!


Ocean Grove, N.J., Sept. 17, 2014


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Wesley Lake looking toward Ocean Grove. Photo by Paul Goldfinger

By Charles Layton

The Wesley Lake Commission intends to embark on a fund-raising campaign this fall to rehabilitate the lake, which, as we all know, is polluted and degraded from years of neglect.

According to an analysis by the Commission’s engineer, Peter Avakian, the rehab project will require $12 million, of which $2,312,000 has already been funded.

Dr. Michael Brantley, the Commission’s chairman, said a forum would be held in late September, attended by various officials including the mayors of Asbury Park and Neptune Township, to lay plans for the fund raising. The Commission hopes to get help from corporations and “other interested groups,” he said.

“We are trying to get this lake restored to its original beauty.”

The Commission revised its rehabilitation plan in February, based on Avakian’s cost analysis. That analysis includes an estimated $2 million to dredge the entire lake, an estimated $1.7 million for storm water management, an estimated $7 million to make repairs to the wall and $1.3 million for streetscape improvements.

Some of this work has already been completed or funded by the City of Asbury Park, the Township of Neptune and the Wesley Lake Commission. For instance, Neptune Township has come up with some $800,000 from various sources for wall repairs. Some parts of the wall — particularly at the eastern end on the Ocean Grove side– are in such bad shape that they are in danger of collapse.

The Commission completed a partial dredging of the lake last year, at the western end, but much more dredging needs to be done.

Brantley said the Commission will formalize the place and time of the fall forum at its next meeting, which is scheduled for August 21.

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