Thursday, September 23, 2010

Local conservation group gets state praise/honor

It was only fitting that the Friends of Euclid Creek would be recognized by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

The Commission held its quarterly meeting Wednesday in Euclid. Among its activities was recognizing the conservation efforts of the Friends of Euclid Creek. This stream is a Lake Erie tributary that discharges it waters at the Wildwood unit of Cleveland Lakefront State Park; one very popular steelhead fishing site.

In officially recognizing the Friends group, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Sean Logan noted that the citizen-based organization works to promote, educate and encourages "cooperative interaction to improve the Euclid Creek watershed."

Among the noted Friends' highlights is the sponsorship of a photography contest, the conducting of a stream monitoring program, holding rain barrel workshops, and hosting invasive plant pulls.

"All of their events encouraged further local awareness and involvement, leading to tangible projects, such as the Lower Euclid Creek Greenway project, East Branch dam removal project, rain garden implementation project and purchase of conservation easements for important riparian and wetland habitat," Logan said.

"This citizen-led organization is making a difference by improving the lives of those in the Euclid Creek watershed and the surrounding Lake Erie region."

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission was established for the purpose of preserving Lake Erie’s natural resources, protecting the quality of its waters and ecosystem, and promoting economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources serves as the commission’s chairman.

Additional Commission members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development, Agriculture and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The Commission also oversees the Ohio Lake Erie Protection Fund, which is the source of grant money for projects that benefit the lake’s watershed economically and environmentally. The fund is supported by an Ohio motor vehicle license plate that displays either the Marblehead lighthouse or the Toledo Harbor lighthouse.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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