Ocean County Press Release
Ocean County and Stafford Township Partner to Open Lake

STAFFORD TOWNSHIP – A partnership between Ocean County and the Township is helping to re-open Manahawkin Lake at A. Paul King County Park off of Route 72 here, for swimming.

"Situated on Manahawkin Lake, this park lies nestled in the heart of the township," said Ocean County Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr., who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation. "I am pleased to join with Mayor John Spodofora in announcing that starting Saturday, July 16 we will be providing lifeguards at the beach and swimming will resume there."

Bartlett noted that Mayor Spodofora had approached the county recently to discuss reopening the lake for swimming.

"This is a partnership that will allow us to open this lake for swimming so residents here can get full use of this park," Bartlett said.

Spodofora noted that residents are anxious to get back into the lake.

"I truly appreciate Freeholder Bartlett and the Freeholder board for stepping up to assist us in having this lake available to township residents for recreational purposes," Spodofora said. "I am pleased we have worked together to make it happen."

Stafford Township will provide a seasoned lifeguard supervisor to oversee the lifeguards provided by Ocean County and the Township.

Bartlett noted that Township Councilman Henry Mancini has been doing a yeomen's job in finding lifeguards for the lake.

"He has been making a lot of phone calls and knocking on doors to find qualified lifeguards for this site," Bartlett said. "We appreciate his efforts."

Bartlett said that combined efforts on the part of the county and the township to eliminate problems that have resulted in the lake being closed to swimming appear to be successful.

Bartlett said the county's goose management program along with the township redoubling its efforts in cleaning nearby storm drains and drainage basins has resulted in improvements to the water quality in the lake.

"We are cautiously optimistic that we can keep the lake open for swimming throughout the summer season," Bartlett said.

The lake will be open for protected swimming Saturday and Sunday. Hours will be extended into the week once all the lifeguard positions have been filled.

"We will post the hours once they are extended," Bartlett said. "For now, lifeguards will be at the lake on the weekend."

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