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Great Lakes Article:

Protect the Great Lakes -- DeWine
By Rick Neale
Port Clinton News Herald
Published August 4th, 2004

DANBURY TOWNSHIP -- U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine believes restoration and protection of the Great Lakes are regional priorities that should be pursued by Ohio and its neighboring states.

"I think we have, on the (scientific) merits, a great case, DeWine said Tuesday during a brief press conference at East Harbor State Park. "No. 2, politically we have a great case. We should be in great shape. We just need the political will to get it done."

The Republican is chairman of the U.S. Senate Great Lakes Task Force and a sponsor of the Great Lakes Environmental Restoration Act. Unveiled in July 2003, the bill would provide $6 billion over a 10-year period for ecosystem initiatives and monitoring programs.

That money will be used to battle invasive species, erosion, contaminated sediment and evolving lists of other tasks.

DeWine said progress in protecting Lake Erie is slowly taking place.

"Any long-term plan by the administration and by the Congress is going to have to ultimately recognize it's going to take more money," he said.

DeWine's remarks were delivered during a press tour of various Ottawa County coastal sites, organized by various environmental groups: Ducks Unlimited, League of Ohio Sportsmen, National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy and Ohio Environmental Council.

The entourage toured East Harbor State Park by bus and later visited the Ohio State University Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island and Put-in-Bay.

"The Great Lakes are a national treasure," said Tim Eder, National Wildlife Federation director of water resources.

Since 2002, DeWine secured $2 million to help finance the state's purchase of North Bass Island and $2 million to buy wetlands along Sandusky Bay.

Contact staff writer Rick Neale at 419-734-7506 or

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