The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will host public meetings next month to gather input from the public on proposed rules for managing construction and improvement projects along the Lake Erie shoreline.
The proposed rule changes to the Ohio Administrative Code reflect a new policy for managing the state’s coastal lands announced last summer by Gov. Ted Strickland.
One area the governor’s policy addresses is that of what rights property owners along the lake shoreline with valid deeds have.
“Under this new policy, the state will honor the valid deeds of local property owners along the coast of Lake Erie,” Gov. Strickland said at the announcement last July. “I believe this policy ensures protection of our important natural resources without compromising the rights of landowners.”
One of the three informational meetings will be held Sept. 4 at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 14000 W. State Route 2, Oak Harbor.
The other meetings will be held Sept. 11 at Painesville Township Park in Lake County and Sept. 18 at the Don Umerley Civic Center in Cuyahoga County.
All the meetings will be from 6-8:30 p.m.
The Ohio Coastal Management Program sets guidelines for the use of the state’s coastal resources as well as establishing policies concerning air and water pollution, protection of wildlife, including rare and endangered species, as well as establishing wetland and natural areas.
The program also provides for the management of erosion areas and the public trust property of Lake Erie.
The guiding policies are divided into nine issue areas, including:
•Coastal erosion and flooding
• Ecologically sensitive areas
• Energy and mineral resources
•Ports and shoreline development
•Fish and wildlife management
•Recreation and cultural resources
• Environmental quality
Ohio’s coastal management law gives the ODNR the responsibility for managing the public trust property of Lake Erie. It also provides for the management of coastal erosion areas, establishes two advisory councils, and establishes the Lake Erie Protection Fund that provides grants to local communities and non-profit organizations for projects than enhance the management of coastal resources.
By participating in the national Coastal Zone Management Act, passed by Congress in 1972, Ohio has benefited in several ways, according to the ODNR, including receiving more than $2 million annually from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.