Posts Tagged ‘Wesley Lake pollution’

Wesley Lake. Ocean Grove side. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger.  Blogfinger.net    RE-POST FROM 2019.

This is what Blogfinger said on Nov. 15, 2019,  when we reported on that infamous and incomplete Planning Board meeting of November 13, 2019 regarding the new North End Redevelopment Plan:

“What about the ground water pipe from Wesley Lake that discharges into the ocean? The new development will dump its dirty ground water into the Lake. Who has promised that the system will work and be maintained? That should be in writing.

“The developers’ engineer said that dumping that dirty water into the ocean is  ‘good thing’ because  ‘you can’t flood the ocean.’   He also claimed that the pipe contains a ‘water quality device,’ but nobody knows if it actually works or how it works. Should we trust this developer to care about the environment?”

Now  (11/19)  we have learned that the Wesley Lake Commission, particularly the Asbury Park contingent, is interested in this subject.  We heard from Doug McQueen, an involved and knowledgeable member of the the Commission.   He has expressed his concern in writing about a “potential negative impact” which the proposed North End Plan might cause due to increased dirty ground water dumping into the Lake.

He has contacted the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Green Acres program.

His information to us indicates that Jersey Shore towns, including our two towns, have been dumping ground water into their lakes for many years, and any township can give permission to a developer to do so.

But, since Wesley Lake is part of Green Acres, the two towns are “encumbered” by regulations that should forbid such increased pollution without going through a complex procedure with the Green Acres program.

McQueen is concerned that the developers and the towns  might seek  loopholes which would permit the OGNED North End  development to dirty the lake  (and secondarily the ocean) even more.

It is encouraging that at least one official body is taking an interest in protecting Wesley Lake.  As you all know, Wesley Lake is shared by A. Park and Neptune  (the town , not the planet.).  So finally, the folks on the A. Park side are appropriately worried about the Lake as it relates to what is planned on the other side.

We will look forward to learning more about the WLC’s efforts.

DON SHIRLEY  from the soundtrack of the movie Green Book.  “The Lonesome Road.”

Editor’s note:

Here is a link to a 2019 article on this topic by Jack Bredin:

About Wesley Lake pollution

And, if you think that concern about the Lake is something new, this Letter to the Editor appeared in April  4, 1901 in the Shore Press--based in Asbury Park, headlined    ”

“Complain to Ocean Grove officials”–a letter to the editor:

“The practice of the Ocean Grove  authorities  in dumping refuse taken from the bottom of Wesley Lake on the lots and streets in close proximity to residences in Ocean Grove is reprehensible and deserving of the severest censure.   This vile smelling refuse will certainly not be conducive to good health.

“There are many poor people in Ocean Grove who miss the money they are obliged to pay for having the ashes carted away, and I think I am right when I say that no germs or diseases are found in ashes.

“But this vile, rank smelling refuse must be filled with disease germs when the hot, dry winds of spring and summer scatter them all through town. How can it be otherwise? 

“Can’t some action be taken to stop this nuisance?

Indignant Ocean Grover.

EDITOR’S NOTE  APRIL 2021.   We need an update from the Wesley Lake Commission to tell the public if they have reviewed the NJDEP reports regarding the OGNED  (North End Plan)  CAFRA application as it pertains to  Wesley Lake ground water issues.

In reviewing their minutes on line from Jan, Feb and March 2021, there is no indication that they are paying any attention to the OGNED plans to keep Wesley Lake clean.  OGNED should have included such plans in their CAFRA application.

Where is the WLC on this?

-Blogfinger.net  April 2021.

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West end of Wesley Lake. June 8, 2020. Blogfinger staff photograph. ©

Over the years  at Blogfinger we have written about the death of Wesley Lake.  We reviewed the history  of the Lake and learned that it is a natural resource, governed by tidal flows, and old maps show that.   Those posts can be found with a search of our archives   (see search block—upper right home page.)

In our post today about the Public Trust Doctrine we find that tidal waterways are to be protected and also include “filled lands formerly flowed by the tide.” Wesley Lake qualifies.  These resources are owned by the people of New Jersey  under the watch of the State of New Jersey.

Over the years the streams that brought beautiful clear water to the Lake became covered over due to development, and the old maps showed such streams.

History books tell of the vibrant ecology of the Lake, with wild life including shore birds, fish and other creatures.   Ferries and boats plied the lake, and during Illumination Night hundreds of boats were part of a wonderful nautical celebration with thousands of participants along the shores.  Over the years the late historian Ted Bell took an interest in Wesley Lake and also Jack Bredin, an activist member of our staff.

In recent years the Lake became more and more filthy aggravated by dirty street water runoff, development, fertilizers, various toxins, car washers, oil and gasoline leaks  (some still undiscovered) and dog poops.

The Wesley Lake Comission, sponsored by A. Park and OG, has failed to clean up the Lake, and now we can look forward to a large commercial development at the OG North End where the developers (OGNED) have failed to explain how they will effectively deal with runoff.

The last and only minutes available from the Commission is from January 2020. A citizen stood up to speak:

Member of the Public – Ernest G. Mignoli
Lives in 400 Deal Lake Drive, Asbury Park (Santander Building).

He said,  “Engineers are the main speakers at the Commission meetings and generally working for the developers*. Ocean Grove North End Development project will have an effect on all in the area. Will create chaos in both Asbury and Ocean Grove. All of the lakes in Asbury and Ocean Grove need to be protected.”

A multi-million dollar dredging is required, and the toxins in the lake are largely camouflaged within the thick mud on the bottom.

Our photo above says it all.

Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor @Blogfinger

* That is true.  Jack and I went to a meeting to hear a hired gun—an engineer, testify that the Lake was man-made.  That was a lie, bought by whoever paid him.

We tried to ask him a few questions after the meeting, but he brushed us off as  he rushed down the stairs and out into the night behind the Mother Ship.

BF post from 2017 on this topic :      https://wp.me/pqmj2-HaD

SEAN HAYES AND KATIE FINNERAN  from the Broadway show Promises, Promises.

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Old map shows Wesley Lake (Long Pond) being supplied by natural springs and then draining in and out of the ocean  (tidal waters.)




Pipe at the eastern end of the Lake which OGNED intends to use to pump additional North End dirty water into the Lake. This pipe outlet is near the Ocean.    Courtesy of Doug McQueen, Wesley Lake Commission. 11/25/19


November 25, 2019.  Ocean Grove.

Two days ago Blogfinger posted an unedited  commentary by Doug McQueen of the Wesley Lake Commission.   You can scroll down to find it.  Jack Bredin, reporter and commenter on Blogfinger has replied to Mr. McQueen below:


Doug McQueen:  Thank you for your efforts to restore Wesley Lake.

The help we need to fix the Lake has been in place for years. It’s the Green Acres program. I’m disappointed that it’s not mentioned in your letter to Blogfinger posted on Nov. 23, 2019.

Instead you conclude:    “This may become one of those frustrating scenarios where there was only a millisecond in between, ‘It’s too early to tell’  and ‘It’s too late to change it.'”

This is “lawyer-talk-nonsense” in support of the “political-talk-nonsense” coming from the “powers that be.”

The true support we need comes from the New Jersey DEP Green Acres Program, and it’s in place.

Both the mayors and chairmen of the Planning Boards of Neptune and AP have certified that they will follow the Green Acres Rules.

According to the Green Acres Program: Wesley Lake along with all other coastal riparian lakes in NJ are now, and have always, been reserved by the State for “recreation and conservation,” in perpetuity.

Allowing dirty street water to drain into the Lake and then in the Ocean, untreated, does not support recreation and conservation.

And yes, there are exceptions:

For example, if  the northeast region of the United States was dependent on foreign oil, and the only place compatible  with large oil tankers was at the Wesley Lake location, there would be “An Overwhelming Public Need” to use that location for oil storage tanks, and, like it or not, that is where the Federal Government would place them.

But, make no mistake about it, there is NO “Overwhelming Public Need” for local politicians to save their developer friends a bundle of money by not requiring them to pay for off-site improvements that are necessary to their development proposals.  Instead the cost is transposed over to the taxpayers.

The necessary off-site improvements would be to reroute water drainage pipes to a new detention basin serving both towns to treat the polluted street water before being released into the Atlantic Ocean.

A special detention basin hook-up-up fee for each new unit that goes on line would have accomplished this years ago.  Instead, the Wesley Lake Commission sells T shirts, and they want to use Wesley lake as a detention basin by changing the name on the Neptune side of the Lake, but that does no change the permitted use of the Lake.  It just creates a false impression to justify their misuse of the Lake.

The use of riparian lakes for recreation and conservation dates back to 1776 and prior to that English  Common Law in the 13 colonies.

It was adopted by the Green Acres Program because that is the law and this Rule of Law supersedes DEP regulations regarding storm water runoff in lakes in general that do not empty into the Atlantic Ocean and wash up on the beach.

Tourism in NJ depends on clean beaches.

A violation of any Green Acre Rule protecting riparian lakes cannot be “grandfathered in.  And the DEP, , the Green Acres Program itself, and especially local politicians cannot change this law.

I repeat, the land is held in trust by the State of NJ in PERPETUITY!

Over the years the Lake has been seriously damaged from the neglect of the State, County, Wesley Lake Commission, Neptune Township, and the City of Asbury park, and there is still no plan by anyone to fix the problem.

If this is not a crime, it should be.


SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK   “This Little Light of Mine”



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Wesley Lake muck at the west end. Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net 2017 ©


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor and Jack Bredin, Reporter/researcher.

In the August 8, 2018  issue of the Coaster entitled “Toxic Algea Bloom Found in Deal Lake” the unsigned article mixes vegetables  (algae) with one-celled creatures called bacteria.

The article confuses the two, creating a journalistic incomprehensible soup, nearly as dense as Wesley Lake.   In fact the Coaster mixes up the spelling of algae, calling it “algea” in its front page headline.

According to the Coaster, the County  was so upset about the blue green algae in the water that it banned eating fish caught there or swimming in the “blue green scum.”

The terminology is confusing, and the Coaster article failed to spell it out.  The blue-green scum is not a classic algae bloom because it is caused by a species called “cyano- bacteria.”  And that “bloom” can give off toxins that can harm people.  The State of New Jersey refers to these harmful blooms as CyanoHAB  (Harmful Algal Blooms.)

The Chairman of the Deal Lake Commission Don Brockel blamed the algae on warm, shallow lake waters containing “phosphates and nitrogen coming into the lake.”

Brockel said that many of the local coastal lakes are susceptible to such algae blooms, and he pointed to Fletcher Lake which had a toxic algae bloom last summer.

These nutrients cause algae blooms and weed overgrowth, but coliform bacteria in the water is a separate disgusting kettle of fish—an issue  due to fecal contamination of the lakes, and it can  cause serious diseases.  Testing for coliforms is different from testing for HAB’s.

A July article in the Coaster describes drunken “revelers” in Asbury Park defecating and vomiting  in the streets and doorways. So it’s not just the Canada Geese.

Brockel  also mentioned “animal and human waste, along with other contaminants, making their way into the lakes.”

The Commissioner urged the county and the state “to concentrate on bacteria levels in Deal Lake.”  But which bacteria is he especially worried about—the algal or the coliform?  An expert on coastal lakes needs to learn the facts.

But what Brockel failed to mention was the number one cause of such problems, and that is dirty ground water drainage from the streets of local municipalities. On Blogfinger we have focused on that core issue as it pertains to toxic drainage  into Wesley Lake  from Neptune Township and Asbury Park.  Ironically, although Wesley Lake borders Ocean Grove, very little of OG street drainage contributes to the Lake’s pollution.

Strangely, the Coaster reported that “Brockel urged local municipalities, the country and the state to clean the storm drains they control around the lake to help control the problem.”

But there is no evidence that cleaning storm drains would alleviate much of anything—in fact that recommendation  might make the flow of contaminants into the lakes more efficient.  Solutions need to be implemented to reduce dirty street drainage into the coastal lakes including Wesley and Fletcher.

In a document* prepared by the Wesley Lake Commission in 2016, they say, “Water quality in Wesley Lake is  very poor, largely as a result of silt sedimentation and pollutants, including street runoff and feces from Canadian geese.  Algae blooms and aquatic weeds are a perennial challenge. In addition flotable trash frequently enters the lake through storm drains and from the lakefront area.”

The also say that “The water in Wesley Lake consists almost entirely of storm water inflow from streets and properties north, south, and mostly west of the lake.”     And the document specifically points to new developments as a source of more water and pollutants into the lake.”

From “Asbury Park Master Plan: Comments for the 2016 Master Plan Update.”  Dated November 28, 2016.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if these lakes could be restored?    Here are the Beach Boys—due in the Great Auditorium this Saturday night.  Get tickets–they are always popular.


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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.



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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

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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.”


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“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!







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“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.







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