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OEC Praises Gov. Kasich and Senator Gardner for $10M Healthy Lake Erie Initiative

Kristy Meyer, March 18, 2014

Funding targeted to help keep Lake Erie safe from dirty dredge material from shipping harbors

(Columbus, OH)–The Ohio Environmental Council is praising Ohio Gov. John Kasich  and Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) for their proposal announced today to invest $10M to in efforts to protect Lake Erie from toxic-laced dredge material from the mouth of the Toledo Harbor and other shipping channels.

The funding, to be administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, would be targeted to reduce the disposal of dredgings from harbors to the open waters of Lake Erie. It also could be used to develop alternative use for the material.

“This is just the sort of initiative that Lake Erie needs–a way to help keep the harbors open and our Great Lake healthy,” said Kristy Meyer, OEC managing director of agricultural, health & clean water programs.

“This precious funding can help move Ohio closer to moving away from the harmful practice of dumping dredge sediments in our lake waters.”

Periodic dredging is necessary to clear sediments that accumulate in heavily used harbors that dot Ohio’s Lake Erie cost, including Toledo, Sandusky, Lorain, Cleveland, and Ashtabula. The dredgings often are contaminated with toxic substances from uncontrolled industrial discharges from decades ago. When dumped in the open lake, the toxins can harm water quality and harm the lake’s food web, threatening wildlife and dampening fishing and recreation.

“We thank Governor Kasich and Senator Gardner for their leadership. They deserve credit for recognizing how important a healthy Lake Erie is for all of Ohio,” said Meyer.