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GLIN==> Nearly $1 Million Awarded for Lake Erie Research Projects

Press Release

September 9, 1999

Ohio Lake Erie Commission Awards Nearly
$1 Million for Lake Erie Research Projects

Toledo, OH -- Seven research projects focusing on protecting and restoring 
Lake Erie and its waterways will collectively receive $947,888 in funding 
through the Lake Erie Protection Fund.  The Ohio Lake Erie Commission 
approved the 1999 Large Grant Awards at the Ohio Lake Erie Commission's 
quarterly meeting on August 31, 1999, at Put-in-Bay, Ohio.  The grant 
recipients were honored at the Eighth Annual Ohio Lake Erie Conference held 
September 1, 1999 at Bowling Green State University's Firelands Campus in 
Huron, Ohio.

The Lake Erie Protection Fund was established in 1992 to help finance 
research, restoration and implementation projects that help protect and 
preserve Lake Erie.  During the last eight years, the Commission has 
awarded nearly $5 million in Lake Erie Protection Fund monies for extensive 
research and implementation projects that focus on improving the quality of 
Lake Erie.  This revenue is generated from monies received through the Lake 
Erie License Plate Program and through Ohio's participation in the Great 
Lakes Protection Fund.

The following is a listing of the 1999 LEPF grant recipients and their 
respective projects:
* The Ohio Lake Erie Buffer Team will receive $229,635 for the "Ohio Lake 
Erie Buffer Team Initiative."  This project will help implement an 
extensive marketing program to attract new enrollment in Ohio's 
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, provide technical assistance to 
Ohio landowners that adopt buffer practices, and allow for monitoring the 
progress and benefits of new buffers in regards to stream quality.
* Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments will receive $250,000 for 
the "Portage River Hydrological Study."  A comprehensive hydrological study 
will be conducted to provide specific solutions to flooding problems in 
Hancock, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood counties.
* Ohio State University was awarded $93,712 for "Wetland Renovation to East 
Harbor State Park."  This project will enhance the quality of a 20-acre 
wetland by eradicating giant reeds called phragmites and restoring the 
native flora to a more natural state.
* The Sandusky River Watershed Coalition will receive $122,066 for 
"Watershed Planning & Implementation for the Sandusky River Watershed 
Coalition."  This grant will enable the coalition to complete and implement 
a comprehensive watershed management plan for this waterway, identified as 
one of Ohio's four Great Lakes Areas of Concern.
* The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Nature Areas & 
Preserves was awarded $11,100 for the "North Pond Kiosk Project."  This 
grant will fund the design and construction of an information kiosk in 
Kelley's Island pristine North Pond region to educate visitors on the 
dynamics of the wetlands and the preserve's unique flora and fauna.
* The Portage County Health Department received $86,375 for "Managing 
Portage County's Semi-Public Wastewater Systems to Benefit the Lake Erie 
Watershed."  These funds will be used to allow Portage County to institute 
a permanent and self-sufficient inspection program to improve wastewater 
systems and prevent bacterial contaminants from flowing into the Cuyahoga 
* The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments was awarded $155,000 
to develop a plan of operation for the "Maumee River Regional Storm Water 
Management District."  The grant will fund the formation of a stormwater 
management district and the development of a plan of operation detailing 
the duties, functions and financing mechanisms of such a district.

The Lake Erie Conference is part of Ohio's public outreach program ~ 
Coastweeks '99.  Coastweeks is a national celebration of our nation's 
waters and shorelines, creating many educational, environmental and 
recreational opportunities for Ohioans.  Coastweeks is coordinated by the 
Ohio Lake Erie Commission for all citizens to enjoy from August 28 through 
September 26, 1999. The goal of this program is to increase awareness of 
the value and fragility of the state's greatest natural resource ~ Lake 
Erie and its shoreline.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission is comprised of the directors of the Ohio 
Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Natural Resources, 
Transportation, Development, Health and Agriculture.  The Commission was 
established for the purpose of preserving Lake Erie's natural resources, 
protecting the quality of waters and ecosystem and promoting economic 
of the region.
-- 30 --

Debbie Katterheinrich
Public Information Specialist
Ohio Lake Erie Commission
One Maritime Plaza, 4th Floor
Toledo, OH  43604-1866
fax:  419/245-2519

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