Misconception #1: Grand Lake St. Marys will right itself.
Grand Lake St. Marys has toxic water due to the presences of blue/green algae fostered by phosporous-rich nutrient runoff. Its shoreline is eroding at a rapid rate and up to 200,000 tons of silt and sediment fill the lake each year. The lake cannot save itself; if it is left “as-is” it will fester, then it will die.
By working together and taking action on a well-conceived restoration plan, Grand Lake St. Marys can be saved and restored to her past beauty and as a haven for tourists, businesses, and residents alike.
Misconception #2: Agricultural practices are not responsible for the degradation of the lake.
Agriculture alone is not responsible for lake degradation; however, agricultural practices are the main contributors via nutrient runoff.
Misconception #3: Agriculture is the leading economic sector in the Grand Lake St. Marys Region.
Manufacturing is actually the leading economic sector in the area, followed by the wholesale, retail, and service industries before agriculture. See the chart below.
Misconception #4: The Lake Improvement Association hates producers.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The LIA wishes to work with producers to save Grand Lake St. Marys. Part of that agenda means evolving agricultural practices, and the LIA understands that change is difficult. However, it has been shown the environmentally-friendly agriculture is more efficient and yields more profits when implemented correctly.
Misconception #5: Nobody comes to Grand Lake St. Marys any more.
Over 750,000 people visit Grand Lake St. Marys every year. If each accounts for an average of $200 in spending, that means Grand Lake St. Marys is responsible for a $150 MILLION local economic boost.
That being said, it is true that if the lake is not saved, no one will visit it – and the local economy will suffer a $150 million loss. Conversely , if the lake is saved it can remain profitable and potentially increase the number of annual visitors and enhance the economic impact it has on the community at-large.