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GLIN==> 2000 Lake Erie Protection Fund Grants Awarded



September 8, 2000

CONTACT:   Jamie Kochensparger
Public Information Specialist
Ohio Lake Erie Commission
419/245-2514
jamie.kochen@www.epa.state.oh.us



For Immediate Release

Ohio Lake Erie Commission Awards $797,464
for Lake Erie Research Projects

Nine research projects focusing on protecting and restoring Lake Erie and
its waterways will collectively receive $797,464 in funding through the Lake
Erie Protection Fund.  The Ohio Lake Erie Commission approved the 2000 Large
Grant Awards at the Ohio Lake Erie Commission's quarterly meeting on
September 6, 2000 at the Radisson Harbour Inn in Sandusky, Ohio.  The grant
recipients were honored at the Ninth Annual Ohio Lake Erie Conference the
following day on September 7, also held at the Radisson Harbour Inn.

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 nine years, the Commission has awarded
over $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.


-MORE-
ADD ONE - 1999 Lake Erie Protection Fund Grant Awards

The following is a listing of the 2000 LEPF grant recipients and their
respective projects:
?	The Miami University-Hamilton Campus will receive $50,952 for the
"Conservation Genetics of Freshwater Mussels and the Potential for
Translocation into the Lake Erie Watershed."  This project will help
determine if the translocation and reintroduction of native mussel species
back into historical locations within the Lake Erie watershed is
biologically possible. This is a necessary and critical first step in the
process of one day restoring the richness and abundance of freshwater mussel
communities..
?	The Ohio State University will receive $91,617 for  "A Hydrological
Assessment of Mentor Marsh, Lake County, Ohio."  A comprehensive
hydrological study will be conducted to provide insight into restoration
planning efforts aimed at returning Mentor Marsh to a more diverse
biological state.
?	The Ohio State University was also awarded $77,340 to study  "Food Web and
Feeding Influences on PCB Bioavailability."  This project will create models
that will describe PCB movement through round goby-facilitated food chains
by quantifying the uptake of whole-body PCBs and total lipids in round
gobies, their prey, and their predators as well as accumulations in
sediments.
?	The Ohio State University in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey
will also receive $148,500 for the "Development and Evaluation of a Coupled
Model to Predict E. Coli Concentrations at Public Beaches: A First
Application at Edgewater Park, Ohio."  This grant will help develop steps
toward a beach notification system that will provide reliable and real time
information as to the risk of swimming at Ohio's Lake Erie beaches.
?	The U.S. Geological Survey was awarded $49,854  for the study of "Critical
Habitats for Young Fishes in Coastal Areas of West-central Lake Erie."  The
knowledge gained from this comprehensive study will assist fishery managers
in understanding the role of coastal areas as nursery and feeding grounds
for young fishes, linkages between coastal fish assemblages and offshore
fish production, and the importance of habitat diversity for healthy fish
communities.
?	The U.S. Geological Survey also received $98,876 for a "GAP Analysis of
Lake Erie Wetlands."  These funds will be used to identify the "gaps"
between biodiversity hotspots and conservation lands to help prioritize
future habitat restoration efforts and allow state and local agencies to
make more informed land use decisions.
?	Heidelberg College was awarded $128,812 to develop "Geographic Information
System Based Water Quality Modeling in the Sandusky Watershed."  The grant
will fund the assembly of a high-quality GIS dataset for the Sandusky River
Watershed, including: soils, land use, geology, topography and climate to
simulate processes such as sediment/nutrient/pesticide loading to assess
non-point source pollution loading points and downstream water quality.
	Wright State University will receive $51,600 for "Developing the Bald
Eagle as a Lake Erie Biosentinel." This project will analyze bald eagle
blood and feather samples archived over the past ten years for persistent
toxic substances to determine long-term trends of chemical concentrations
during the 1990's as well as discern differences between different bald
eagle populations in relation to their habitat location.
	Cleveland State University was awarded $99,913 for research on "Genetic
Markers for Defining and Evaluating Stock Structure of Yellow Perch in Lake
Erie." Information from this study will assist in the future management of
perch in establishing catch rates and habitat protection strategies, as well
as provide a rapid and inexpensive method for distinguishing among various
perch stocks.
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
development of the region. For more information, contact the Commission
Office at 419/245-2514 or by e-mail: oleo@www.epa.state.oh.us.

                                                                            
     -30-


Jamie Kochensparger
Public Information Specialist
Ohio Lake Erie Commission
One Maritime Plaza, 4th Floor
Toledo, OH  43604-1866
419/245-2514
fax:  419/245-2519




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