This Day In History: 1935-02-17
Beecher S. Bowdich, the Secretary-Treasurer of the New Jersey Audubon Society issued a stinging indictment of the Passaic Valley Flood Control Commission’s plan to convert Trot Meadows into a lake. Writing from the Society’s office in Newark, Bowdich refuted the Commission’s claim that a few pieces of high ground in Troy’s meadows would remain above the lake level and provide adequate breeding grounds for the many birds who nest in the area. He also refuted the Commission’s claim that the new lake would deprive mosquitos of much of their local breeding areas. “With the greater flooded area,” he wrote, “increased mosquito hordes are to be expected.” The islands left in both the Boonton and Qyanockie reservoirs had not become breeding grounds for birds even though those areas were closed to the public. The Commission’s plan to lease the shores of the new lake for commercial use would prevent any bird or animal population from living there. He described Trot Meadows as “unique… (in) the whole state of New Jersey.” Its loss would be immeasurable.
The Commission’s plan did not prove conclusively that the new lake would do much to control floods either.