Healthy Lake Erie Initiative added to capital appropriations budget

State Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) announced that a new Healthy Lake Erie Initiative has been
included in the state’s Capital Appropriations Budget introduced Tuesday in the House of
Representatives.
The initiative will provide $10 million in funding over the next two years to support the reduction of
open lake dumping in Lake Erie and to implement other clean lake strategies.
Administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the fund will be used primarily to find
alternative uses for dredge materials as opposed to current and prospective practices which could be
considered less environmentally friendly.
ODNR Director Jim Zehringer said the initiative is another in a series of efforts to make progress in
cleaning up Lake Erie, particularly the toxic algae problem.
"Protecting Lake Erie remains a top priority for Governor Kasich’s administration," said
Zehringer. "Thanks to the partnership and collaborative efforts of Senate President Keith Faber and
Senator Randy Gardner through the Healthy Lake Erie Initiative, we will continue practices to address
nutrient issues in the Lake Erie watershed. We recognize more needs to be done and with the help of the
governor’s capital bill, we can work toward our shared goal of improving water quality in the western
Lake Erie basin."
Gardner said the new capital funds will build on other efforts to find answers to Lake Erie environmental
challenges.
"I am thankful that Senator Faber and Governor Kasich agree that more needs to be done to attack
problems affecting Lake Erie," Gardner said. "The lake is one of Ohio’s great natural assets
with tremendous impact on jobs and quality of life. We have an obligation to continue the fight."

While Gardner said most of the efforts to date have focused on the western Lake Erie basin, recent
controversies in Cuyahoga County regarding dredging disposal issues indicate attention is needed all
along Ohio’s northern coast.
House and Senate committee hearings are expected in the Ohio House and Senate in the coming weeks.