ODNR Seeking Public Comment on Plan for Lake Erie and Coastal Program Enhancement Strategies

SANDUSKY, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is seeking public comment on a five-year plan that identifies strategies for program changes and implementation activities needed to achieve coastal resource improvement objectives identified in the plan.

The 2021-2025 Assessment and Multi-Year Strategy Plan outlines two strategies deemed priority opportunities to enhance Ohio’s coastal resources through improvements to the Ohio Coastal Management Program. The strategies are: 1) coastal resources and resiliency, and 2) public access enhancement.

The plan is being developed and will be implemented by the ODNR Office of Coastal Management through the federally funded Ohio Coastal Management Program. The plan is important because it provides Ohio a source of federal grant funding that does not require matching funds.

For Ohio to receive program change implementation funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), every five years Ohio must assess the federally approved Ohio Coastal Management Program in nine areas based on the status of the resource and the status of existing management authorities and programs. In accordance with Section 309 of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, the nine areas are wetlands, coastal hazards, public access, marine debris, cumulative and secondary impacts, special area management plans, Great Lakes resources, energy and government facility siting, and aquaculture.

Now that Ohio’s 2021-2025 Assessment and Multi-Year Strategy Plan is drafted, both NOAA and the public have an opportunity to review and comment on the chosen priority areas and strategies for making Ohio Coastal Management Program enhancements. ODNR will consider all comments received and adjust the plan where appropriate before submitting a final plan to NOAA for approval. Once approved by NOAA, Ohio will continue to be eligible to receive enhancement program funding.

Ohio’s draft 2021-2025 Assessment and Multi-Year Strategy Plan can be downloaded from coastal.ohiodnr.gov/coastal-program-enhancement or by contacting the Office of Coastal Management at coastal@dnr.state.oh.us or 419-626-7980. Comments on the 2021-2025 plan must be emailed to steve.holland@dnr.state.oh.us at the Office of Coastal Management by March 16 or postmarked by the same date. The mailing address is: ODNR Office of Coastal Management, Attn: Steve Holland, 105 West Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, Ohio 44870.

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