State Controlling Board member Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island) voted to appropriate $599,967 on Monday to protect Ohio’s greatest natural resource, Lake Erie.
“Lake Erie is our most precious resource, and we must do everything possible to protect it for area residents, visitors and generations to come,” said Rep. Redfern. “Our natural wonder means more than just recreation. It generates some $11.5 billion in economic activity, and it is a source of life for countless wildlife and over 11 million people.”
$510,000 of the funding will support a project to pinpoint the origins of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. The project will consist of field studies and lab experiments and will be carried out by four Ohio universities that are partnering with the Lake Erie Commission.
The remaining $89,967 will be used to calculate the impact of nutrient loads on phosphate levels in the Western Basin of Lake Erie. Scientists will use data collected from the study in making recommendations to reduce the presence of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency provided a majority of the funding for the projects. The money awarded by the state’s Controlling Board will allow the Lake Erie Commission to administer and fulfill the grant during the current biennium.