East Sandusky Bay Protection Effort Honored (OH)

Washington D.C., 03/11/2005 – ?A conservation project spearheaded by Erie MetroParks and the Trust for Public Land Ohio Office is being recognized today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at an award ceremony in Washington D.C. Erie MetroParks received the “Excellence in Local Government” from NOAA for its work protecting the East Sandusky Bay Preserve MetroPark. Collaborating with the Trust for Public Land and other organizations, Erie MetroParks acquired the 1,200 acres of freshwater marsh and shoreline habitat over the course of 18 months. Jon Granville, Director of Erie MetroParks is accepting the award on behalf of the district.

“We enjoy working with Erie MetroParks and are delighted that the park district is receiving this honor,” said Chris Knopf, Director of the Trust for Public Land Ohio.

Located between Cleveland and Toledo, East Sandusky Bay is an important stop over point along the Mississippi Flyway, one of the largest bird migration routes in the eastern U.S. Sixty-five species of birds, including neotropical migrant warblers, have been observed along the bay. A recent survey found more than 180 species of plants, some of which are under threatened status.

Funding for the Preserve has come from Federal, State, and private sources including the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. U.S. Senators Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) have thus far secured nearly $4 million in federal funds from NOAA’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, and have been strong supporters of this conservation effort.

The new East Sandusky Bay Preserve MetroPark is one of several key protected natural areas along the Lake Erie Shoreline including the Ottawa International Wildlife Refuge and the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. Under the management of Erie MetroParks, the area is available for scheduled recreational, educational, and interpretive programming opportunities such as bird watching and observation of the American Bald Eagle; waterfowl, wildlife, and wildflower identification; and wetland, forest, and meadow ecology.

The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 2 million acres across the nation. The Trust for Public Land has helped protect the 1,300-acre Edison Woods Preserve, which is the largest single conservation project in northern Ohio in decades. For more information, visit the Trust for Public Land on the web at www.tpl.org ?