GELIA History

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.


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.

  • GELIA holds an annual membership meeting and a lake concert on the first Saturday in July,  produces three newsletters each year, and maintains this website.
  • The Lake Host program welcomes boaters at the Acton boat launch and monitors for invasive species.
  • The Weedwatchers program enlists volunteers to monitor and report invasive aquatic plants along the shoreline of the lake. We also maintain a fund to battle invasive species and to react quickly if and when they occur on Great East Lake.
  • Water quality measurements are taken from May to September by volunteers who work with the UNH Lakes Lay Monitoring Program
  • We are members of the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance, working to protect and improve water quality within the local watersheds.  AWWA’s Youth Conservation Corps is dedicated to reducing stormwater runoff and erosion along the lakeshores in Acton and Wakefield.
  • The activities comittee plans and holds events and gatherings for all.
  • We work with the Loon Preservation Committee to monitor and protect the Loon population, and the NH Fish and Game who stock the lake with fish.
  • Volunteers place the Maine navigational buoys and signs and work with NH Marine Patrol and ME Warden Service to promote safe boating practices.
  • GELIA supports conservation organizations in NH and ME, as well as local recreation and Ambulance services.
  • We greet and provide lake related information to new lake residents.
  • GELIA acts as a government liaison with Maine and New Hampshire by monitoring and informing about issues and legislation of interest to Great East Lake Improvement Association members.
About the Watershed Survey

 We are pleased to announce that the Great East Lake 2021 Watershed Report is finished and
available as a PDF link below. Many thanks to Jon Balanoff, the AWWA Executive Director, for
his perseverance in seeing the project through to this point.
We all know that our lake is very clear and clean, but the challenge before us is to keep it that
way for future generations. The survey identified many sites throughout the watershed that
threaten its present condition. Here is a quick summary of the findings:

           -25 sites were identified as having a high impact on water quality
           -97 sites were identified with medium impact
           -101 sites were identified with low impact

Of these 200+ sites, about half of them require no-cost or low-cost remediation. The other half
are more involved, more technically challenging, and will have a greater expense associated with
them. Please keep in mind that AWWA’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is available to assist
with remediation projects and property owners need only pay the cost for materials, not labor.

Letters and emails have been sent to all participating members informing them if erosion issues
were found on their property or not. If issues were found, members were provided with details
of the findings and suggested remediation methods.

If you do not receive a letter or email and would like to inquire about findings on your property
you can send your request to either the GELIA Watershed Committee email or the AWWA email
address listed below to request that information. Please provide your name, the property
owner’s name and the property address in your request.

We urge all property owners to read the report as it’s filled with useful information, helpful
remediation options and best practices for all kinds of issues. We also want to stress the
importance of addressing issues promptly should any be identified on your property.
Thank you again to all those who assisted with this survey and thanks to everyone for helping to
keep our lake as clean, clear and beautiful as we possibly can.