The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


 If Holly Henn has her way, many Ottawa County residents on July 3 will be standing hand-in-hand along the Lake Erie shoreline or hoisting their boat flags.

 The Elmore resident is coordinating efforts in the county for All Hands On Deck, a non-partisan   event planned to express support for continued funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and increase public awareness of the importance of sustaining the lakes’ ecosystem.

 “We’re working on getting the word out,” Henn said. “Several organizations are already interested. Friends of Maumee Bay State Park plans to host an event. Magee Marsh, Lakeside-Marblehead Chautauqua Community, a private group at Catawba Island and East Harbor State Park are planning for it and we’ve filed for a permit to hold an event on the public beach in Port Clinton. We want to bring national awareness to how important our Great Lakes are.”  

She likened the event to the Hands Across America benefit held in May 1986.  

About 50 communities in five states and Ontario, Canada have already expressed interest in taking part, according to Kimberly Simon, of Charlevoix, Mich., who came up with the idea in March after hearing about proposed budget cuts for the GLRI.  She said more than 1,400 people have joined the All Hands On Deck discussion group on Facebook.

 “The idea resonates with people across a very broad region because they all realize the Great Lakes are precious resources that are essential for our environment, our economies and our way of life,” Simon said. “Sites may differ by community but on beaches or boardwalks or any other places, the intention is the same; to bring people together in an expression of unified concern about something we all can agree on. We all want to take care for our Great Lakes.”

 Federal agencies use GLRI funds to address threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem. The initiative was started in 2010.

 Simon said the goal of All Hands on Deck is to unite communities around the Great Lakes in a non-partisan way and demonstrate the need to base policies for regulating and researching water issues on science.

 Locally, anyone interested in contacting Henn for information should do so through Facebook at or email at

 “We would like to have people signed up by June 19 or so,” she said, adding she learned about the event from Simon’s Facebook page and requested more information. “I agreed to help organize Ottawa County with some other people. We have the longest shoreline along the lake in Ohio.  I’m originally from Oak Harbor and can call local businesses. We’ve had a donation of 400 flyers which will also help us get the word out.”

 Information is also available at  The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on July 3.





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