The Grove Rotary Club voted on Wednesday, July 20, to contribute $5,000 to the Grand Lake Watershed Alliance Foundation to support its efforts to preserve, protect and improve water quality in the lake’s watershed.

The gift represents the largest contribution so far to the alliance, a citizen-based non-profit organization and the only organizational voice for the entire watershed. “I am so pleased that Grove Rotary is standing in support of the alliance’s important work to help keep Grand Lake clean,” said Maria Welch-Keesling, president of Grove Rotary. “As Rotarians who live and work around this beautiful lake, we understand the importance of protecting and enhancing Grand’s water.”

With the gift, Grove Rotary becomes the first lifetime member of the Grand Lake Watershed Alliance Foundation. The gift will be used to reach out to lake residents and educate them on ways they can help improve water quality.

The Watershed Alliance issued a report in 2008, which noted elevated levels of nutrients, including phosphorous, in the watershed.High levels of these nutrients, in part, can lead to blue-green algae outbreaks, similar to those reported in Grand Lake in late June. More recent water samples in Grand have shown a significant decrease in the toxic algae levels, prompting the Grand River Dam Authority to remove its “no bodily contact” warning for Grand Lake waters.

The Watershed Alliance continues to urge citizens and leaders to take action to ensure the long-term health of the Grand Lake watershed, which includes nearly 10,300 square miles in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The group has developed a strategic plan for addressing the issue, including building support among stakeholders in the watershed’s four states, informing governmental officials of the risks, proposing solutions, and increasing cooperation among the states.

The alliance has launched a web site, located at www.glwaf.org, to provide more information about the organization and the risks facing Grand Lake and the

entire watershed.

Grove Rotary, which has 140 members, is dedicated to the principle of “Service Above Self” and helps address numerous community needs. Rotary International is a worldwide organization of business and professional people who are working to eradicate polio, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.