About

MISSION STATEMENT

Our association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of Great East Lake, its wildlife and environment. We see education as a primary function of this organization. Only through vigilant action and financial support can we hope to ensure that future generations will share the experience of stewardship for the treasure that is Great East Lake.

The Great East Lake Improvement Association (GELIA) traces its roots back to 1932. The founding members came together to address issues concerning the early annual fall draw-down for commercial purposes, and to discuss solutions and preventative measures for current and potential problems.

It is a fundamental desire of all GELIA members to enhance and protect the quality of the lake and the surrounding habitat today and for future generations to enjoy. Maintaining a healthy lake requires ongoing vigilance by all.

GELIA HISTORY

Since its founding in 1932, the Great East Lake Improvement Association (GELIA) has championed our community’s interests in fluctuating lake levels, land use and development, the fish population, gypsy moths, loons, buoys, debris, mail delivery, road conditions, safe boating, water quality, invasive species and a host of other issues.

In the early 21st century, GELIA’s proactive stance on issues related to water quality and habitat protections placed it in the forefront of similar regional organizations. On some issues, GELIA-sponsored groups blazed trails with ground-breaking strategies and set the standard for others to follow.

GELIA directors and volunteers devoted untold hours to study issues about the quality and stability of the lake water, as well as the threat of non-invasive plants.

They mobilized to meet the challenges by applying for and receiving funds from state and federal sources, establishing programs, and sharing their knowledge with Acton, ME and Wakefield, NH, town officials and others advocating for water protections

Through a regional watershed alliance, they founded the first Youth Conservation Corp in New Hampshire, to deal with erosion and storm-water runoff problems.

Regular monitoring of water quality began in the late 1970s, when GELIA signed on with Maine’s volunteer water monitoring program. Launched in 1972, it was one of the first in the nation.

In 1982, GELIA joined the more extensive Lay Lakes Monitoring program run by the University of New Hampshire.

In 2001, when news of the threat from invasive non-native plants emerged, GELIA responded immediately by organizing Weed Watchers (2001), who patrolled the waters along the shore, and Lake Hosts (2002), who focused on boats being launched into the lake.

Today GELIA is a member of the New Hampshire Lakes Association and Congress of Lakes Association in Maine. GELIA communicates with its membership of more than 400 lakefront owners via its website and newsletter.

Throughout GELIA’s history, interest and participation in the organization has fluctuated as much as the water level in the lake. Campers on every shore have benefitted, however, from the association’s monitoring of issues of mutual concern, such as safety on the lake, the fisheries, and boating. The organization’s activism to head off invasive species threats and to protect the lake’s pristine water quality is held up as a model for other lake associations.

For more information on GELIA’s history, see “Newichawannock Reflections” Memories of Great East Lake, 2nd Edition Revised & Updated, Compiled by the Great East Lake Improvement Association, Edited by Peg Aaronian.

Board Members

President Charles Crespi

Vice President Dana Bridges

Treasurer Sergio Jaramillo

Secretary David Upton

Directors

Susi Alvino
Lindsey Berube
John Crespi
Jenn Dropski
Effie Jaramillo
Dan Kraft
Jeffrey Lebida
Tom Lynch
Dave Mankus
Scott Matheson
Mike Russo
Rich Sigel
Bob Stearns
Carol Ward
Doug Wood

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