Joined by three Democratic House members up for re-election next year, Gov. Phil Murphy announced more than $13 million in funding to reduce harmful algal blooms, like the one that caused swimming bans at Lake Hopatcong last summer.
The announcement could boost the re-election prospects of Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill), Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) and Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff), although Murphy’s visit to Roxbury comes two weeks too late to help Democratic Assembly candidates in three Morris County legislative districts.
Three Republican legislators, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-Parsippany), Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains), and now-State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) recognized that lake closures in northwestern New Jersey could catch on as a political issue during the 2019 re-election campaigns.
“The presence of harmful algal blooms in New Jersey’s waterbodies severely impacts our public health and economy,” Murphy said. “The rise of harmful algal blooms is a global challenge and our initiative to reduce future blooms will allow us to protect the health of our residents, as well as the economies of our lake communities.”
New Jersey had over 70 suspected and 39 confirmed cases of harmful algal blooms this year.