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As Others See Us

As Others See Us: Bergen SWAN Visits Lake DeForest

Lake DeForest 201407. Credit: Google MapsLast month the members a North Jersey environmental action group traveled to Clarkstown to take a look at one of the sources of their drinking water. Bergen SWAN (Save the Watershed Action Network) received permission from United Water of NY and NJ to take a small flotilla of kayaks around Lake DeForest. published an account describing some of the nature the group saw — as well as some things weren’t quite as natural.

As the flotilla glided around a point of land jutting into the reservoir, the majesty of High Tor Mountain, at 832 feet the highest point along the Hudson Palisades, filled the vista. But from the side seen from the water, it wasn’t so majestic at all, presenting a red, scarred face that is continually being scraped and blasted in a rock quarrying operation.

“The quarrying has been going on for years,” said Lori Charkey, director of Bergen SWAN. “It’s really picked up recently, as trap rock is being mined for the new Tappan Zee Bridge work.”

Lake DeForest was created by the Hackensack Water Company in 1956 when the Hackensack River was dammed in Congers, NY. The reservoir  is named for Robert W. DeForest, a Manhattan lawyer and socialite who managed the Hackensack Water Company from 1881 to 1926. The Hackensack Water Company was reorganized as United Water Resources in 1983. The company is now part of Suez Environement, which serves 5.5 million water customers in 21 states.

Source: Environmental group gets a close-up tour of North Jersey’s water supply, 6/22/2014

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 As Others See Us is an occasional feature that publishes what publications outside of Nyack say about the people and places in the Lower Hudson Valley.

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