Under Secretary of Commerce Joins State and Local Officals to Celebrate the Many Benefits of Ohio's Lake Erie Coastal Region--State's Coastal Management Program Wins Federal Approval
June 5, 1997
CLEVELAND, OH -- State and local officials, joined by the nation's leading coastal management administrator, gathered at the Cleveland lakefront today to celebrate the Lake Erie coastal region's economic, recreational and environmental benefits. The event featured Ohio's formal entry into the National Coastal Zone Management Program and recognition of the many recent achievements made in Ohio toward improving Lake Erie and its coast.
As the event's highlight, Under Secretary of Commerce Dr. D. James Baker, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announced federal approval of Ohio's new Coastal Management Program, a comprehensive effort to ensure the wisest, most productive use of Ohio's lake and coastal resources. Speaking to an audience of state and local officials, environmental leaders and community volunteers at the Great Lakes Science Center, Dr. Baker said that with federal approval, "...Ohio will become a partner in a larger, national effort that recognizes the economic, environmental and aesthetic value of all our ocean and Great Lakes coastal areas."
Joining Dr. Baker for the celebration was Donald C. Anderson, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Anderson cited achievements under the administration of Governor George V. Voinovich to restore the once-neglected lake as "a catalyst for the economic revitalization of northern Ohio, a habitat for abundant fish and wildlife, transportation link to world markets and a recreational resource without equal."
Among examples, Anderson described the return of bald eagles to Ohio, Lake Erie's regained title as "Walleye Capital of the World" and successful efforts to restore coastal wetlands. "There's no better indicator of the renewed health of Lake Erie than the fish and wildlife species that are once again finding suitable habitat here," the ODNR director said.
The Ohio Coastal Management Program integrates management of Ohio's Lake Erie coastal area in order to preserve, protect, develop, restore and enhance its valuable resources. The program is a cooperative effort by state agencies and Ohio's local governments to manage coastal resources, control activities that affect them, and foster their sustainable use for the benefit of all citizens of the state.
Through participation in the national program, Ohio will receive more than $800,000 annually from the federal government to help manage its coastal resources. Federal approval of the program marks the culmination of many years of effort by local, state and federal agencies, with substantial volunteer participation of local citizens and interest groups.
For further information contact Dave Pagnard or Jim Lynch, ODNR Media Relations, (614) 265-6886, or Mike Colvin, ODNR Coastal Management Administrator, (614) 265-6413.