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50,000 eco-tourists here: Magee Marsh attracting birders from across globe
Written by J. Patrick Eaken   
Friday, 14 May 2010 08:57

A sign outside Bench Farms on Route 2 in Ottawa County reads, “Welcome


Top: Michael Lamarche focuses on some egrets at McGee
Marsh. Lamarche, of Montreal, joined birders from all over
the world.  Bottom Left: Black-throated blue warble
Bottom Right: Black-throated green warbler

The staff at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, located in the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, are talking to bird watchers arriving here from Uganda, England, Japan, Holland, Spain, and across the North American continent.
“Everyday has been very busy. It’s wonderful,” BSBO Executive Director Kim Kaufman said. “People are coming from all over the country and really from destinations from all over the world.”
What is the attraction? Birders come here in May to see concentrations of warblers and other migratory songbirds.
“The attraction is this is a critical area — a stopover habitat for migratory birds,” Kaufman said. “Another words, they can’t get from the tropics where they are over wintering without having some place to stop. It’s like a bird gas station.
“What happens is that these small birds, these song birds — they migrate at night. As they come up they see the lake and they think, ‘Okay, here’s a big body of water. I’ve got to stop and refuel before I cross this big body of water.’

EPA approves cleanup of former sports arena site
Written by Kelly Kaczala   
Thursday, 20 May 2010 15:01

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has approved redevelopment of the former Sports Arena property on Main Street following a pollution investigation and clean up of the site.

The City of Toledo and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority assessed the 55-acre property at 1 Main St. through the Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP), which gives property owners the chance to voluntarily assess and, if necessary, remover pollution from a property, according to Dina Pierce, northwest district media coordinator for the Ohio EPA. The agency then issues a release of liability, known as a covenant not to sue, once the property meets cleanup standards of the Ohio EPA.

A site assessment showed there were several areas contaminated with metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, total petroleum hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds that were above direct human contact standards, according to Pierce. Soil was removed from the site for disposal and pavement was laid in one area to prevent future contact with soil. An environmental covenant will prohibit the use of ground water under the site.

Council to reassess participation in rec program
Written by Kelly Kaczala   
Friday, 14 May 2010 08:42

Oregon City Council on Monday tabled a proposed ordinance that would have provided for a fee schedule for non-resident participation in city recreation programs.
It will discuss the matter further at this Monday’s committee of the whole meeting.
Recently, the city’s recreation and parks committee came up with a fee schedule for non-residents to participate in the recreation program.
Non-resident participation would continue for Jerusalem Township residents, but the ordinance would extend participation to include Oregon Board of Education open enrollment students and non-resident participation for immediate family members of city employees.

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