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December 23, 2014
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Continuing efforts at Grand Lake

Grand Lake St. Marys is an important fixture in west central Ohio, drawing people from all over the state during summer months. The lake also offers an economic boost to the surrounding communities, local businesses, and the rest of the Auglaize and Mercer Counties. The vital economic boost it provides to the region is important to consider as the lake undergoes continued restoration work.

The lake season started off positive, but as with years before, it is experiencing algae blooms. It is important that work continue on resolving this issue, first and foremost, so that visitors to Grand Lake St. Marys will have a positive experience and stay longer to spend more money, supporting our economy.

Restoring the health of the lake is a major issue, and one that will take time. Sediment build-up within the lake is a situation that has developed over hundreds of years, but little by little it is improving. Just as it took many years for the sediment to reach current levels, it will take many years to clean out the sediment from the lake.

There is one operational treatment train on Prairie Creek that naturally cleans incoming water to the lake. As a result of its success, more treatment trains are being constructed at Grand Lake St. Marys in the coming months and years.

During restoration, the state has been committed to funding projects to improve the health of the lake, and the future continues to look bright as the Lake Facilities Authority comes together to help resolve issues pertaining to water quality in the agricultural community  and in the lake.

Additionally, local elected officials and the state of Ohio are making substantial efforts to preserve the quality of the lake. Local farmers are also helping the process through voluntarily improving their practices. The collaboration of these various entities has shown there is a lot of positive direction for improving Grand Lake St. Marys.

While many positive and pro-active steps have been taken in addressing the continued restoration of Grand Lake St. Marys, it is important that this work continue. Not only will the lake benefit from these efforts, but so will the neighboring communities. The long-range plan to make the lake better has made much progress already, and the restoration yet to be completed will continue to make Grand Lake St. Marys a hotspot of family recreation and economic vitality for years to come.

Please give me your opinion on this topic and others in the news this month by completing an online survey at tinyurl.com/buchyjuly2014.

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