BAY HEAD — Bay Head recently received a $99,900 grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for water quality improvement through the use of biochar, which are charcoal-like substances.
According to DEP, the process will help remove sediments, debris and algae worms from Twilight Lake, which overflows during heavy rains, strong winds and high tides.
The grant comes from a $10 million federal American Rescue Plan Act awarded to New Jersey towns and boroughs, which was appropriated and released by the state Legislature for the management and maintenance of lakes for recreation and conservation last November.
According to NJDEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette, “These grants will help a diverse group of DEP partners implement projects that will reduce the harmful effects of stormwater, nonpoint source pollution and harmful algal blooms that will only worsen due to the impacts of climate change.”
Guidelines on the use of funds are for lake water quality, controlling nutrient levels to prevent future harmful algal blooms, and to enhance or protect lake-associated conservation and recreation uses.
With the new grant, the Bay Head Environmental Commission expects to use biochar in its watershed implementation plan designed to monitor water quality and help prevent flooding.
This is the second grant that Bay Head received from NJDEP in recent years.
The first grant awarded in 2021 allowed the environmental commission to study and develop a comprehensive watershed implementation plan for flood management. The effort showed the need for a system to continually monitor water quality and water level.
“For over a year, we’ve been heavily focused on cataloging, tracking data, and tying flooding that occurs within the borough and figuring out ways in trying to stop it and making it less burdensome on the residents,” said Dan Paulus, environmental commission member.
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