Preserve Will Protect Lake Erie Shore (OH)
From Trust for Public Land
SANDUSKY, OH - The Trust for Public Land, the Sandusky/Erie
County Community Foundation, and Erie MetroParks announced
today the near completion of a new 1200-acre East Sandusky
Bay Preserve MetroPark along the Lake Erie shoreline.
Located between Cleveland and Toledo, East Sandusky Bay
is an extraordinary naturally functioning freshwater marsh
near Cedar Point Amusement Park and an important stop
over point along one of the largest bird migratory routes
in the eastern U.S.
The Trust for Public Land will transfer two properties
totaling 1,029 acres to become part of the larger nature
preserve later this month. Erie MetroParks will manage
the Preserve, part of which will be known as the Community
Foundation Preserve at Eagle Point, in recognition of
the foundation's generous support and leadership. The
Nature Conservancy also played a role by making available
the 956-acre Putnam Marsh for inclusion into the preserve.
Final funding for the preserve is expected to come from
Federal, State, and private sources including the Clean
Ohio Conservation Fund and the Ohio Department of Natural
Resources. U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and U.S.
Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) secured $2.5 million
in federal funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation
Program to help protect the remaining properties.
"The East Sandusky Bay preserve is a jewel in our
emerald necklace around the shore of Lake Erie,"
said Congresswoman Kaptur. "This initiative not only
will enhance the quality of life, but also promote economic
development through the burgeoning eco-tourism sector
of our economy."
"The Great Lakes truly are a national treasure.
Last year, my family and I visited a tract of land that
was in danger of being developed," said Sen. DeWine.
"The site retained its original splendor and we even
witnessed a bald eagle take flight from its nearby nesting
area. It is my hope that my children can experience this
same natural wonder with their own grandchildren. As a
member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I was able
to secure funding to protect properties that are adjacent
to other conserved land. We have created a contiguous
block of open space for wildlife habitat and public enjoyment."
The Trust for Public Land acted to prevent the property
from being developed by working with local landowners
and community leaders tosecure the properties and develop
a long-term stewardship plan. The success is due in a
large part to funding from the Sandusky/Erie County Community
Foundation and partnering private foundations.
"This has been a highly effective private and public
collaboration for the conservation of a natural treasure
in Erie County," said John O. Bacon, Chairman of
The Sandusky/Erie County Community Foundation. "Our
Community Foundation has been proud to join the private
landowners, individual donors, private foundations and
the Trust for Public Land in partnership with Erie MetroParks
and our concerned county, state and federal governmental
officials to preserve permanently the irreplaceable natural
beauty of East Sandusky Bay"
"This is an important new preserve that will not
only provide our county residents with a world class location
for bird watching, but something to draw tourists from
around the country," added Kevin Zeiher, Erie MetroParks
The new East Sandusky Bay Preserve MetroPark is one of
several key protected natural areas along the Lake Erie
Shoreline including the Ottawa International Wildlife
Refuge and the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
It is the intersection of two primary bird migratory routes,
the Mississippi and Atlantic flyways, home to a pair of
nesting American bald eagles, and an important year-round
"Lake Erie and its shoreline are incredible natural
assets," adds Wolfe Tone, Ohio Project Manager for
the Trust for Public Land. "The East Sandusky Bay
Preserve MetroPark protects wildlife habitat and gives
the public access to enjoy and appreciate the natural
beauty of the bay."
Under the management of Erie MetroParks, the area will
be available for scheduled recreational, educational,
and interpretive programming opportunities such as bird
watching and observation of the American Bald Eagle; waterfowl,
wildlife, and wildflower identification; and wetland,
forest, and meadow ecology.
The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to
enjoy as parks, gardens and other natural places, ensuring
livable communities for generations to come. Founded in
1972, the Trust for Public Land has helped protect more
than 1.4 million acres across the nation. In 2001, The
Trust for Public Land helped protect the nearby 1,300-acre
Edison Woods Preserve, which is the largest single conservation
project in northern Ohio in decades.