FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2000
HOMEOWNERS GET NEW TOOL TO FIGHT COASTAL EROSION --
LOWER-INTEREST LOANS AVAILABLE
FOR LAKE ERIE SHORELINE PROTECTION
COLUMBUS, OH -- Below-market interest rate loans for design and construction of coastal erosion control measures are now available to owners of Lake Erie shoreline properties within designated coastal erosion areas in Erie, Lake, Lorain, Lucas and Ottawa counties, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced today.
The new loan program implements legislation (SB 43) sponsored by State Senator Bob Gardner and is made available through the cooperative efforts of ODNR, the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) and county commissioners in the participating coastal counties.
"Nearly 1.6 million tons of material are eroded along Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline each year," said ODNR Director Sam Speck. "With more than 2,000 homes located within 50 feet of the lake's bluff, this new loan program will help qualified property owners address a serious problem."
To be eligible for a loan, a project must protect property lying in a designated coastal erosion area, as determined by ODNR in 1998 following extensive mapping of Ohio's Lake Erie shore. These properties include stretches of coastline identified as most likely to erode more than nine feet within the next 30 years, or at an average rate greater than .3 feet per year. Nearly 37 percent of coastal properties in Ohio meet those criteria.
"We are pleased that the OWDA's Coastal Erosion Control loan program will provide needed funds to help with costs of shoreline protection measures to reduce erosion in coastal areas judged by state geologists to be most susceptible to erosion," said OWDA Executive Director Steve Grossman. "These loans come at an opportune time as lake levels are near a three-decade low, which reduces the difficulty and cost of construction," he said.
Owners of properties lying within a coastal erosion area should have already been notified of this designation. Information on coastal erosion areas may be obtained by calling ODNR's Coastal Help Line at (888) 644-6267; this information is also available from county and municipal offices in each coastal county.
Property owners who began construction of an erosion control measure any time after the coastal erosion area was designated by ODNR on June 1, 1998 may be eligible for a loan if the construction has been fully authorized by local, state and federal regulatory authorities.
Loan applications and further information are available through the following county offices:
Erie County Regional Planning Commission (419) 627-7792
Lake County Commissioners Office (440) 350-2366
Lorain County Community Development Dept. (440) 329-5302
Lucas County Board of County Commissioners (419) 213-4510
Ottawa County Regional Planning Commission (419) 734-6779
Ashtabula, Cuyahoga and Sandusky counties are not presently participating in the program.
ODNR geologists estimate that more than 3,200 acres of Ohio's Lake Erie shore have been lost to erosion since the 1870s. All 262 miles of Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline are subject to wave attack, and 74 percent of the lakeshore is composed of easily eroded materials, such as sand, glacial deposits and clay.
For Further Information Contact:
ODNR Division of Water
Sue Farmer, Loan Officer
Ohio Water Development Authority