Wetland islands are discussed

First Posted: 2/26/2012

A consultant spoke to borough council and residents Tuesday night about the proposed floating wetland islands.

Fred Lubnow, Ph.D., director of aquatic programs for Princeton Hydro of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said the islands, which are made of recycled plastic, come in three different sizes. The 5-foot and 60-foot islands are globular in shape, while the 250-square-foot islands are more rectangular with curves, giving them the most natural appearance.

Lubnow noted three benefits the islands would bring to the lake.

One is nutrient removal, with each island removing 10 pounds of phosphorous per year. One pound of phosphorous can generate 1,100 pounds of algae.

The islands would enhance fishing in the area and aid in native vegetation growth.

The islands would be anchored in place by cinder block and rope. Residents could ask to have an island, which can last for up to 10 years, placed near their property.

Lubnow also noted the borough is able to secure grants for its projects because Harveys Lake is consistent in maintaining its structures. Once the borough has completed a model for reducing phosphorous in the lake, it will become eligible for funding to begin a dredging project. With two more grants remaining, the phosphorous reduction should be complete by the end of 2012.

Resident Carole Culver said she is unhappy with the recycling pickup. Culver said she takes the time to sort and tie newspapers, only to find that they are mixed in with regular trash. Councilwoman Amy Williams agreed.

Councilwoman Michell’e Boice voiced her disappointment with state Rep. Karen Boback’s decision to vote in favor of the gas drilling bill , which takes away any rights the borough had in regards to drilling. Boice added that the bill is a “gift to the gas industry, but a slap to the citizens.”

She urged all residents to get involved with this issue, and said the gas industry is now doing to the land what the coal mining industry did in past years.

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