Roxbury awarded grant to study Landing Channel project

Roxbury Township was recently awarded a $113,650 grant from the New Jersey Highlands Council to fund a study on a “beneficial reuse and dredging” project in Landing Channel. photo

The project aims to both reduce nutrient-heavy sediment and restore wetland habitat in the cove to improve water quality on Lake Hopatcong.

Landing Channel, the southernmost cove on Lake Hopatcong, is a manmade channel created in the 1800s to connect the Morris Canal to Lake Hopatcong to allow steamboats to transport passengers from the Lake Hopatcong Station to their lake destinations.

The channel was kept clear with routine dredging, but this has not occurred since the 1990s, allowing sediment to accumulate for the last three decades.

A bathymetric survey conducted by Princeton Hydro and funded by a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection grant estimated more than 250,000 cubic yards of sediment were present in the approximately 47-acre channel in 2016.

The survey was part of an assessment of twenty-one areas around the lake being considered for water quality improvement projects.

The dredging of Landing Channel was listed as a high priority for water quality due to the amount of accumulated sediment relative to the depth of the water. This sediment harbors a large amount of organic and inorganic phosphorus that fuels the growth of aquatic vegetation and algae including possible harmful algal blooms.