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2 bills aim to protect Lake Erie wetlands
Toledo Blade

PORT CLINTON - Ongoing efforts to protect some of the most valuable coastal wetlands along Lake Erie could be enhanced if a pair of congressional bills is approved.

The bills would extend the boundaries within which the federal government can attempt to expand the sprawling Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Complex, an 8,316-acre region that includes the Cedar Point, Ottawa, and West Sister Island preserves east of Toledo.

Money for acquiring large chunks of property or accepting donations of land likely would have to come from separate appropriations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has had a land-acquisition program for years, but has been limited in scope to 5,000 acres in Lucas, Erie, Ottawa, and Sandusky counties.

Bills introduced by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R., Ohio) would give the agency a wider area for negotiations with property owners.

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