DEP commissioner: Here’s why it’s harmful to swim in some of N.J.’s most popular lakes

Algae, cyanobacteria

CATHERINE R. MCCABE / STAR-LEDGER – There’s been a lot of attention lately to the harmful algal blooms that have erupted in some of New Jersey’s favorite lakes, including Lake Hopatcong and Greenwood Lake. People are wondering why the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is advising people to stay out of the water, right at the peak of summertime fun and heat.

Here’s why.

On the day the DEP called elected officials to alert them to the algal bloom advisory for Lake Hopatcong, one official told us about a grandmother in the area who had reported that her grandchildren had developed rashes after playing in the lake. Several other residents also alerted DEP, which is why DEP scientists quickly went to the lake to test and assess the situation. DEP was as dismayed as the local community when tests showed high cyanobacteria counts all over the lake …

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