Whether it’s a lake in your community or the farm next door, helping preserve and protect the environment benefits everyone.
When toxic algae threatened New Jersey’s largest lake, it took a community to help protect it.
In 2019, a historic lake-wide algae bloom, fueled by increased phosphorus concentrations, higher temperatures and still water conditions, all but shut down the popular Lake Hopatcong. This meant no swimming, no fishing and limited boating for homeowners and tourists. It was a blow to the local economy, and local residents, like Wade Martin, wanted to help.
RBC Wealth Management Financial Advisor Wade Martin worked with his community to help clean up the local Lake Hopatcong. Photo courtesy of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation and Glide by JJ photography.
The issue wasn’t just important to Martin, a financial advisor in RBC Wealth Management’s Martin Group, based in the firm’s Princeton, N.J. branch; it was also important to his clients and neighbors in the area.
Martin and other community members rallied around the Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF), a group dedicated to helping clean up and maintain the lake. Not only did he donate to the LHF, but Martin also helped connect town leaders with EverBlue Lakes, an organization committed to using natural methods to clean lakes of fertilizers and pollutants.
“There’s so much that can be done to save the environment, and Lake Hopatcong was an example of a problem happening in our community that affected a lot of people, including my clients,” Martin says. “What’s important to them is also important to me, so I wanted to do something to help.”
Since the initial water problem, the LHF and the Lake Hopatcong Commission, a state agency responsible for preserving the lake, have worked to improve water quality by educating the public, prioritizing storm water mitigation projects and introducing volunteer-led harmful algae bloom testing. As a result, the lake’s water quality has improved, and testing will continue to measure the effectiveness of the efforts.
Martin’s commitment to helping clean up Lake Hopatcong is just one example of how he values the environment. He and his colleagues in the Martin Group also work to educate their clients about the benefits of preserving land rather than selling it to developers.
One of those clients is the Matthews family, which has been farming in New Jersey’s Montgomery Township for seven decades. The Martin Group recently worked with the Matthews family and land preservation experts D&R Greenway to help preserve the 10 remaining acres of the family’s farm.
For Don Matthews, four generations of his family are connected to the land.
“We never thought of living anywhere else,” Matthews says. “It’s important to us and future generations to make sure our farm will remain part of the landscape.”
Wade Martin, far right, worked with local community groups to help protect New Jersey’s largest lake.
Whether it’s a lake in your community or the farm next door, helping preserve and protect the environment benefits everyone, Martin says.
“We have a huge community and if we can educate everybody and connect the dots, we can really change the world,” he adds.
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