bills aim to protect Lake Erie wetlands
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
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.