Lake Hopatcong’s floating classroom, Study Hull, received an environmental achievement award “for outstanding accomplishment in local environmental protection.” The honor was bestowed upon the Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF) at the 45th Annual Environmental Congress Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) on October 12.

During its first year on Lake Hopatcong, Study Hull educated more than a thousand visitors. The majority were students in grades 4-5 who boarded the 40-foot pontoon boat during the LHF’s spring field trip program at Hopatcong State Park. Over the summer, other visitors also had the opportunity to join weekly excursions. Passengers learned about watersheds, lake ecology, geography, and history while conducting experiments that tested the lake’s temperature, pH level, dissolved oxygen, and clarity. They also viewed samples of the water through microscopes to see live phytoplankton.

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The stern of Study Hull. (Photo: Jane Primerano)

LHF president Jessica Murphy credited Jule Girman and the Hopatcong Environmental Commission for nominating Study Hull for the award. The vessel will return to Lake Hopatcong in the spring of 2019 to resume the program of field trips and excursions. Trips are made possible through the work of LHF staff, captains certified by the Coast Guard, and many retired teachers and other volunteers.

To learn more about Study Hull and other initiatives of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, visit lakehopatcongfoundation.org.

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