Senator Gardner during the bicentennial celebration of the Battle of Lake Erie in 2013.
Ohio's leading environmental group has honored Senator Randy Gardner with its 2014 Public Servant of the Year Award, citing his work as Lake Erie's most effective legislative advocate.
Gardner, who represents five counties in northern Ohio, received the award Saturday in Columbus at the Ohio Environmental Council's annual awards dinner.
"We are pleased to recognize Senator Gardner as a true Lake Erie champion and effective legislator on many issues important to the conservation of Ohio's natural resources," said Jack Shaner, OEC deputy director.
The OEC highlighted Gardner's numerous efforts, including establishing the Healthy Lake Erie Fund, Ohio's first-ever state fund to reduce the disposal of dredge materials in the lake, and for serving as co-chairman the Lake Erie Legislative Caucus.
While progress has been made, Gardner said there remains much work ahead to clean up Lake Erie.
"There is no issue more important to our region than a healthy Lake Erie," Senator Gardner said. "Hundreds of small businesses, tens of thousands of jobs and ensuring safe drinking water for our communities are all at stake. Fighting for the lake is necessary and just the right thing to do."