Friday, July 30, 2010

"They didn't tell us anything we didn't already know."

Mercer County residents are not buying the governor's solutions. Click image for Mark Bruce's video.


  1. Can't they skim the algae the same way the oil iS being skimmed in the gulf? Also, there was a story about algae being harvested for use as a fuel--- maybe an opportunity?

  2. Doesn't the algae grow up from the bottom of the lake? This would make skimming difficult. Also, it is supposedly so toxic everyone is being warned to stay out of the water.
    Whatever the solution, this is a severe blow to the economy in that area.

  3. These people are holding Ted Strickland like Obama is holding BP. Teddy didn't piss in the water and make it do that. And true enough, there is no action plan for this. There is no ready made solution. Nor is it his responsibility to pay business owners when their business goes sour because a lake that they do not own that they take advantage of has a problem.

  4. The Farmers in Mercer county have been the problem for years. They are not allowed to spread manure/slurry on fields in the fall/winter by state law. There is a $2000 per parcel fine-IF THEY GET CAUGHT
    Noone polices it so they do it anyway- It rains on frozen ground and look what we have. The state needs to be concerned with the lake or helping the farmers- which is it?

  5. Let's Get Things Straight (part 1) - Mercer CountianAugust 2, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    7:10 like a true "blinders on" lake enthusiast! You have tunnel vision my friend. I'm not saying that the farmers don't have anything to do with it....they do. However, if you look at the watershed for Grand Lake St. Marys, you will find that the tributaries feed this lake almost all come in from the south. Now, that being said, yes, there are MANY farms.

    Now, let’s take a little trip back in time, say, 30 years. What was on the south side of the lake? That’s right...hundreds if not thousands of acres of wetlands. What is there now? Development and channels that replaced the wetlands that filtered out the nutrients that flowed from the farms that back in the day did not follow best management practices. Was the lake clean then? Absolutely not! But the lack of Best Management Practices by farmers was still somewhat buffered by the wetlands that were able to take in some of the nutrients before they entered into the lake.

    Now, let’s fast forward to present day. The farmers in the Grand Lake Watershed are, for the most part, applying Best Management Practices. They are utilizing grant money for filter strips, winter cover crops, tile control structure, covered feed lots, amongst other improvements to their farms. Some farmers are able to do these practices with their own money. I applaud the forward thinking of these farms. Some farmers have to make very hard decisions on whether farming that extra 20-40 feet, or making it into a filter strip is fiscally the right thing to do in order to provide for their families. I would hope that these farms can make ends meet by doing the right thing. Sure, they get paid a certain amount per acre for a filter strip, but how does that compare to the amount they would get paid for that same acreage in corn or beans? In a meeting with local farmers a week or two ago, Rep. Jim Zehringer told the farmers basically that they should strongly consider best management practices if they are not already, because they are in the cross hairs.

    Since we’re discussing timelines of things, let’s go back to when Grand Lake was made. What was this lake created for? Fishing? Tubing? Putting around on pontoon boats? Poker runs? Any of the things that we, including myself, enjoy doing? No…it was created to supply water to the Miami-Erie Canal system. That being said, basically, it was a holding pond to fill the locks so the boats could get where they were going. This lake was hand dug by immigrants who were underpaid and who faced poor living conditions. Being hand dug, and only needing to supply water to the canal, it was only dug to a minimal depth. Current lake depths range from 4 – 15 deep. This is not the depth of a recreation lake. Anybody want to guess why? Because it was not designed for that. Had the engineers at the time had any conceivable notion that the canals would stop being used, and that the lake’s sole purpose would be a place of relaxation and recreation, I’m sure they would have designed it a little differently. The problem with the depth is, that lakes, just like ponds need to be able to “turn over” and let the muck from the bottom move around. This is not able to occur in Grand Lake because of the shallowness of it waters.

  6. Let's Get Things Straight (part 2) - Mercer CountianAugust 2, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    As for the comments I’ve heard about the lake “dying”. This lake is more alive than it has ever been. The algae is a testament to that. Last year we had the blue-green algae. This winter, we had a good hard cold winter, and snow that blocked the sun from the water below the ice. This killed the blue-green algae. This spring, there were reports of uncharted water clarity in Grand Lake. This was great news! However, this allowed the light to get further down into the water and cause this new algae to bloom. I’ll use this analogy that I picked up from an authority on the lake’s condition. Think of a thistle patch. You spray the thistles with Round-up, kill the thistles. What grows there next? That’s right…some other weed that you didn’t even know what there. That is exactly what has happened here at Grand Lake.

    I am sick and tired of the finger pointing that is going on, especially towards agriculture. I am not a farmer, wouldn’t know the first thing about farming. However, I know some farmers in the watershed. Lest we forget, these men and women work hard to put food on OUR tables! Unless you are growing your own produce, raising your own private livestock and not purchasing any of these types of goods from your local grocery store, let’s not point the finger solely at agriculture. Everybody in the Grand Lake Watershed, and the surrounding areas has a part in this. We are going to have to work together to solve the problem. There is no cheap silver bullet fix for this problem. There are temporary solutions that may or may not work. It’s most likely going to get worse before it gets better. In the mean time, if you want to help out, come up to Mercer County and frequent some of the lake side businesses that are struggling. They would welcome your business.

  7. Let's Get Things Straight (part 3) - Mercer CountianAugust 2, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    And let's not forget that there are farms in Darke County in the Grand Lake Water shed! So, its not just Mercer County Farmers.


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