By Samuel Arnowitz
I recently had the pleasure of hiking the banks of the Ramapo River. I knew what was ahead of me, I knew what to expect; I could see the garbage and erosion from the road.The Ramapo River is in shambles and the people of every town that it runs through are desperately trying to do something about it.
Last week in Oakland, state officials gathered to hear the cries of its residents concerning the Ramapo River. The residents, all from Oakland, included members of the Oakland Flood Commission. Among the state officials was a representative from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and an aid to U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett.
The issues that were raised concerned an area of the town know as Crystal Lake, a private area adjacent to the Ramapo River; The concern is silt and erosion. Since last year's hurricane flooding, 30 feet of yard has been lost to the river and similarly in another case, a shed that once sat 20 feet away from the river is now teetering on a cliff. Unfortunately, no resolutions were discussed by the state officials and the river is still in poor shape and getting worse.
“A little farther down the line” (to quote Johnny Cash) in Pompton Lakes, the Ramapo River has been receiving treatment. Crews have been working with heavy machinery to pull debris from the the river. These heavy machines have been hauling trees, branches and, slit from the banks of the river. The town received $87,500 dollars from the NJDEP to make repairs along the river.