LAKESIDE, OHIO, November 20, 2019
Lake Erie Foundation (LEF), a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2016 with a mission to sustain and protect the waters of Lake Erie now and in the future, thanks Governor DeWine and his administration for the significant time and effort that went into developing the initial steps of the “H2Ohio” plan. LEF also appreciates the efforts of the Ohio legislature for allocating $172 million in funds, and the many collaborative partners who helped build the plan.
The Governor unveiled the plan’s details on November 14 along the shores of Lake Erie in Toledo stating “my H2Ohio plan is a dedicated, holistic water quality strategy with long-lasting solutions to address the causes of Ohio’s water problems, not just the symptoms.”
Since the beginning of the DeWine administration, LEF has been there as a resource to him and his team on issues related to protecting the lake. Many of the H2Ohio plan components are activities that LEF has been advocating for since the organization was first formed, primarily reducing phosphorus runoff and preventing algal blooms through increased implementation of agricultural best practices. The plan provides economic incentives to farmers who develop a nutrient management plan that includes a combination of these best practices.
Other plan goals include creation of wetlands, improving wastewater infrastructure; replacing failing home septic systems; and preventing lead contamination in high-risk daycare centers and schools.
While all of these methods of addressing Lake Erie’s challenges have the potential to provide positive benefit, LEF does have concern that according to details now available, many of the recommended actions are voluntary in nature. And while there are dollars available to offset the cost to those who choose to “do the right thing”, to a certain extent this approach has been unsuccessful in the past.
Jim Stouffer, President of the LEF Board of Directors, commented, “we compliment Governor DeWine for taking on this challenge and are encouraged by the goals he and his team have set forth. Our hope is that our friends in the agricultural community will fully engage with this plan; this will in turn benefit their operations and our Great Lake Erie”.
For more information on the H2Ohio plan: https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/h2ohio-water-quality-plan
For more information on Lake Erie Foundation: www.lakeeriefoundation.org
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