The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have received approval from the State Controlling Board to begin funding nearly $10 million in projects aimed toward helping to keep dredged material out of Lake Erie.
These projects are part of Ohio’s “Healthy Lake Erie Fund” efforts and will be managed by local officials and sponsors from Toledo, Lorain and Conneaut, the communities where these funds are being invested.
According to ODNR, these programs represent a portion of Ohio’s dredged material management program developed jointly by the Ohio EPA, ODNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with input from local stakeholders.
Commenting the latest news, Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler, said: “These projects are part of Ohio EPA’s comprehensive strategy to manage nutrients entering Lake Erie. They demonstrate how we can repurpose material dredged from Lake Erie’s harbors and use them in beneficial ways and not simply dumping this nutrient laden material into Lake Erie.”
ODNR said that these projects will provide opportunities for local economic development and job creation through public-private partnerships and will support continued maintenance and operation of the federal navigation channels by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Additionally, these efforts address the requirement to utilize Healthy Lake Erie Funds to promote the beneficial use of dredge material and meet the July 1, 2020 ban on open-lake disposal of dredge material into Lake Erie.