View of Lake Erie from the Bluffs

The Honorable Steven LaTourette and members of the Great Lakes conservation community gathered Monday morning, August 6th, to announce 34 ecological restoration projects selected to receive $8.2million in grant funding from a public/private partnership, the Sustain Our Great Lakes program.

The selected projects will improve the quality and connectivity of tributary, wetland and coastal habitats.

Specifically, the grants support improving passages for fish and other aquatic organisms, controlling invasive species, restoring wetland hydrology, improving stream habitat, and providing technical assistance to private landowners who want to improve wildlife habitat on their property.

Representative Steve LaTourette

LaTourette, a long-time supporter of conservation efforts in Ohio, had this to say:   “The Great lakes are a treasure, not only to our region and state, but the whole country.  These are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, and hold 90 percent of our nation’s supply of fresh surface water.

“Protecting the Great Lakes is critical not just to continue providing water to local communities, but also to support ongoing local and national economic growth.  I’m thrilled to be a part of the announcement of these grants, which will help us maintain that effort, and I thank the Sustain Our Great Lakes partners for their great work in evaluating these projects.”

Cameron Davis, EPA; Jeff Trandahl, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; Representative Steve LaTourette; James Cole, The Nature Conservancy, Karen Adair, The Nature Conservancy; Summer Paris, ArcelorMittal; Todd Hogrefe, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Four Ohio conservation groups received a total of over $1,000,000 in grants:

Cleveland Metroparks ($140,000) and partners will control invasive species and will plant native vegetation to restore wetland functions and habitat on 60 acres of Fowles Marsh.

Lake Metroparks ($300,000) will acquire 89 acres of coastal property as part of a larger project to protect 600 acres and 9,000 feet of contiguous Lake Erie shoreline in Painesville and Perry Townships.

The Nature Conservancy ($600,000) will partner with Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and Ducks Unlimited to restore approximately 505 acres of wetlands and uplands near Lake Erie within the Maumee Area of Concern.

Winous Point Marsh Conservancy ($56,050) and partners will augment an existing invasive weed management program to control phragmites and flowering rush on 550 acres of coastal marsh along Lake Erie

My Take on the presentation:  Though Representative LaTourette was our official guest of honor, we need to also recognize a welcome though uninvited guest:  Karen Adair told me that during Cameron Davis’s speech, an adult Bald Eagle was busy fishing in the clean waters of Lake Erie behind him.

Money can’t buy that kind of endorsement; nor can it buy serendipity.


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