On April 13, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Co-Chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force, announced $249,000 in federal conservation funds for the Bay Point Conservation Project in Ottawa County. The investment comes from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation (NCWC) Grant Program.
“This investment will fortify our work with the community to ensure we restore this vital coastal ecosystem and protect the wetlands in Sandusky Bay,” Kaptur said in a news release. “I am especially grateful to Western Reserve Land Conservancy for putting the pieces of this complicated funding puzzle together.”
Known locally as the “Sandbar,” the Ottawa County property consists of a narrow peninsula that extends south from the Marblehead Peninsula into Sandusky Bay. The northern portion of the property is more stable and contains mature trees along with extensive forested wetlands. The southern portion of the property is seemingly under constant change by shifting sands and wave activity. It comprises beaches, sandbars, small sand dunes, as well as coastal wetlands.
On December 28, 2017, Western Reserve Land Conservancy reached its first major milestone by acquiring the property.
The Land Conservancy has secured public funding for the project through the Ohio Public Works Commission Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Fund and the Ohio EPA Water Resource Restoration Sponsorship Program (WRRSP). This specific WRRSP project is being sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD). The NCWC grant was secured by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Office of Coastal Management in partnership with Western Reserve Land Conservancy.
“The rarity and quality of Bay Point’s 34-acre freshwater coastal wetland habitat and nearly 2.5 miles of undisturbed Lake Erie shoreline make this coastal ecosystem a nationally significant conservation priority,” noted Rich Cochran, president and CEO of the Land Conservancy. “We are extremely proud to preserve such an extraordinary landscape.”
The Land Conservancy will continue to finalize grant agreements and conservation restrictions over the next few months, including access and management plans.