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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded a $2,316,000 grant to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to continue the administration of its Coastal Zone Management Program. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The grant will finance the state’s federally approved management plan, which covers Ohio’s 262 miles of coast. The Ohio CZMP balances the demands of such profitable industries as tourism, exports through Lake Erie, coastal agriculture and recreational boating, with the need to protect the long-term health of the environment. This year’s grant will support numerous initiatives to preserve, protect and enhance Ohio’s Lake Erie coastal resources. These projects include an assessment of water supply needs, water withdrawals and water resource issues in the Sandusky River Basin, and the implementation of the Ohio Clean Marinas Program, a voluntary initiative to support marinas that reduce nonpoint source pollution into Lake Erie.
Funding from the grant will also be used to fund a Geographic Information System inventory of coastal wetlands, beaches, fish and wildlife habitat, minerals, other significant coastal resources, and to conduct research on alternative sewage treatment options for communities in Northeast Ohio. In addition to these programs, the Office of Coastal Management will award $256,500 for projects promoting a sustainable coast and lake. States in the national coastal zone management programs have the flexibility to make day-to-day management at the state level in the 34 states and territories with federally approved coastal management programs.
“Balancing the need for sustainable development with the protection and management of coastal resources is a core principle within NOAA,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This grant allows the state of Ohio to manage its coastal resources while actively supporting NOAA’s and the Bush Administration’s commitment to the environment.”
The Ohio CMZP is administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Office of Coastal Management, and promotes the wise use of land and water resources that have direct and significant impacts on the Lake Erie coastal area. The OCZMP works to increase recreational opportunities in the Lake Erie area, improve the water quality of Lake Erie and coastal beaches, preserve Ohio’s coastal wetlands, revitalize urban waterfronts, restore degraded stream corridors, and support economic development that enhances the natural beauty of Ohio’s Lake Erie shore.
The Coastal Management Program is a federal-state partnership dedicated to comprehensive management of the nation’s coastal resources, ensuring their protection for future generations while balancing competing national economic, cultural and environmental interests. The CZMP is authorized by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 and administered at the federal level by the Coastal Programs Division within NOAA. For more information, visit: http://www.ocrm.nos.noaa.gov/czm/.
Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA’s goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
**Editor’s Note - An audio clip of the NOAA Administrator discussing this grant award is available on the Web site: http://www.noaa.gov/lautenbacher/audio/ohio.mp3.
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