Grand Lake Stewardship Is Good For Oklahoma

Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

The Cleanup Crew … Working out of Harbor’s View Marina, this group of volunteers “lent a hand to Lady Grand” on Friday, February 8. The volunteers spent the day cleaning up shoreline debris in an around Duck Creek. The efforts of lake-area stakeholders has always been an important contribution to GRDA’s stewardship mission and its positive economic impact in the lakes area.

The Cleanup Crew … Working out of Harbor’s View Marina, this group of volunteers “lent a hand to Lady Grand” on Friday, February 8. The volunteers spent the day cleaning up shoreline debris in an around Duck Creek. The efforts of lake-area stakeholders has always been an important contribution to GRDA’s stewardship mission and its positive economic impact in the lakes area.

The shoreline of Grand Lake is much cleaner today, thanks to a cooperative effort of many lake area businesses, the City of Grove, the Grand River Dam Authority and others who lent a hand for Lady Grand.

Working together, they removed old dock foam from all around the lake to help preserve the scenic shoreline that has defined Grand for over seven decades.

Actually, large piles of old dock foam have been building at selected sites around the shore for weeks now, but the real push, with assistance from the public, took place February 6 – 10. Now that all that foam has been collected, GRDA crews will soon load it up and deliver it to Covanta Energy’s “energy from waste” facility in Tulsa. Covanta – which processes over 1,100 tons of refuse per day in Tulsa – will convert the old foam to both steam and electricity for beneficial uses. 

While this may have been the most comprehensive shoreline cleanup effort, it is not the first time lake area stakeholders have worked together to preserve the scenery. Each year, GRDA works with organizations like the Grand Lake Sail & Power Squadron, the Monkey Island Association and others on shoreline cleanups. Those events, as well as this most recent cleanup, are successful because of the efforts of the many volunteers who care for the waters of Grand Lake.

That affection for the lake is not lost on GRDA. In fact, supporting environmental awareness and proper stewardship of the natural resources in the Grand River basin is part of the GRDA mission. And having the opportunity to work with so many lake area stakeholders, to preserve those resources, makes the mission successful.

It is a success that is evident across the lakes region. It shows up not just in clean shorelines but in real dollars as the positive economic impact of GRDA lakes on the state’s recreation and tourism industry continues to grow. Within five years, the economic impact of GRDA – made possible in part by its contributions to tourism and recreation in the lakes area – is estimated to equal $300 million in real disposable income for Oklahomans (according to a recent Oklahoma Department of Commerce study).

So, whether it’s the upcoming Bassmaster Classic which will allow the sport of professional fishing to shine its national spotlight on Grand later this month, or it’s the broad tax base and ongoing economic development that exists along the shore year-round, proper stewardship of Grand Lake is good for Oklahoma.

GRDA is grateful to the many Oklahoma volunteers who helped with that process last week.

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