Rentz Tells Rotary About LIA

Lake Improvement Association President Nick Rentz talks to members of St. Marys Rotary Club on Wednesday about what his organization has been doing to improve the water quality of Grand Lake St. Marys.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Editor in Chief

Nick Rentz, president of the Lake Improvement Association (LIA) admitted that there is a lot of alphabet soup when it comes to remembering of all of the local organizations that are working to improve the water quality of Grand Lake St. Marys, but the Montezuma resident and Wright State — Lake Campus alum had no problem telling St. Marys Rotarians what his organization is and what they have done recently to improve the lake.
Rentz opened his speech Wednesday by giving Rotarians a quick history lessons on the LIA, which has been around since 1946 and incorporated in 1947 by business and cottage owners as the oldest continuing lake organization on Grand Lake.
Rentz introduced the organization's first 15-point plan for the lake, with some of those points being about educating farmers about conservation, remove rough fish, keep streams in check and so on.
The LIA also holds fundraising events — with the organization's Summer Kickoff Festival approaching this weekend — as well as lobbying politically. The LIA has help fund 319 grant match for the removal of phosphorus in Beaver Creek watershed, gave $5,000 for a new safety boat to cover all of GLSM, donated $2,500 for new sonar and rescue equipment and hosted the debate for the Republican 84th House District for the May primary.
The LIA — which has an 11-member executive board and serves more than 1,500 people — also helps maintain the amenities at the GLSM State Park, hold a monthly meeting at the Celina Moose and the organization is a facilitator for other groups or organizations who want to help with the lake..
Rentz's speech then shifted to the cleaning efforts of the lake, describing to Rotarians the difference between a treatment train and a wetland.
Treatment trains in the creeks that dump into the lake aim to make some filtration, taking water and moving it into a series of pools. The trains then drop those nutrients into the pools. After the treatment train puts the water through its series of filters, it then dumps the cleaner water into the wetland, where the nutrients will be soaked up by vegetation there.
The the Prairie Creek Treatment Train is not complete, but Rentz spoke highly of the treatment train in Coldwater Creek, saying the nutrient levels within the rock well are "extremely high."
The Coldwater Creek just lacks vegetation, which Rentz said once vegetation grows in that creek to soak up the nutrients, the lake will be in good shape in that area.
For the Big Chick, Little Chick creeks, the LIA is waiting for a Clean Ohio Grant to help fund the project, but once the LIA can receive the grant, it will be the final two streams that the LIA can get in one spot.
Rentz showed Rotarians that both the treatment trains and wetlands are working in cleaning the lake.
Rentz said in 2010, the eColi came to a halt and that was the same year the algae bloom came out.

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