Lake Erie Preserve Gains 155 Acres (OH)

April 1, 2004
Ohio

Sandusky, OH, 4/1/04 - The Trust for Public Land and Erie MetroParks announced today the addition of a 155-acre property to the new East Sandusky Bay Preserve MetroPark along the Lake Erie shoreline. This is the fourth acquisition in a two-year effort. The land is part of an extraordinary naturally functioning freshwater marsh near Cedar Point Amusement Park that will consist of 1200 acres of protected natural land. Located between Cleveland and Toledo, East Sandusky Bay is an important stop over point along one of the largest bird migratory routes in the eastern United States.

Funding for the preserve has come from Federal, State, and private sources including the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund. U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (Ohio) and U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, respectively, secured $2.5 million in federal funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, that was critical to the protection of this property.

"This addition to the East Sandusky Bay Preserve MetroPark is a great example of what can be accomplished when responsible people cooperate," said U.S. Senator Mike DeWine. "As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I was pleased to play a role in helping to secure the funding for this project. We must take steps like this one in order to preserve our land for our children and future generations."

"The East Sandusky Bay preserve is a jewel in our emerald necklace around the shore of Lake Erie," said Congresswoman Kaptur. "This initiative not only will enhance the quality of life, but also promote economic development through the eco-tourism sector of our economy."

The original impetus for this effort came from the vision of Gil Steinen, a life-long Erie County resident. Over the course of the past two years, the Trust for Public Land transferred four properties totaling 1200 acres to Erie MetroParks to create the new Lake Erie nature preserve, part of which is known as the Community Foundation Preserve at Eagle Point, in recognition of the foundation's generous support and leadership. The Nature Conservancy also played an important role by making available the 965-acre Putnam Marsh for inclusion into the preserve. The new 155-acre addition, which abuts the already protected lands, was acquired from the Joseph Steinen Wildlife Trust. The property is adjacent to Plum Brook, which flows into East Sandusky Bay. Erie MetroParks and the Trust for Public Land hope to continue additional conservation efforts in connection with the preserve.

"This effort succeeded because of a commitment to a shared vision," said Wolfe Tone, Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land. "The leadership of our elected officials and a partnership involving Erie MetroParks, the Community Foundation and others delivered this new nature preserve to the citizens of Ohio."

"The impact of this conservation success will be felt for generations to come," added Jon Granville, Director of Erie MetroParks "From an ecological standpoint, this represents the protection of Ohio's last large coastal marsh along the Lake Erie shoreline. From a community standpoint, this preserve should become a place where schoolchildren and adults alike experience the natural world at the intersection of land and water." Erie MetroParks general funds were not used to acquire the property.

Under the management of Erie MetroParks, the area will be 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. Limited, regulated waterfowl hunting will be permitted on portions of the preserve. Other portions of the new properties will be open for unscheduled public visitation once signage is in place and various safety and resource protection concerns are addressed

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 1.4 million acres across the nation. In 2001, The Trust for Public Land helped protect the nearby 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 or contact Erie MetroParks at 419-625-7783 or [email protected].