Gibraltar Island, OH This past Friday, Ohio Sea Grant hosted the 5th Annual Lake Erie Day for Coastal County Commissioners, Mayors, & Decision Makers at Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island. Over 40 elected officials and representatives of local government agencies were able to experience Lake Erie up close aboard a Stone Lab research vessel, attend presentations by experts on current Lake Erie research and key issues affecting the lake and its coastal communities, and visit Ohio Sea Grant’s other facilities that inform the public about Lake Erie.
“Our goal was to provide our elected officials and decision makers with an enjoyable and informative experience on Lake Erie while helping them better understand critical issues affecting the lake”? says Dr. Jeff Reutter, Director of Ohio Sea Grant & Stone Laboratory. “Lake Erie is Ohio’s most valuable natural resource, and we want to make sure decision makers not only know how the lake affects their communities, and vice versa, but also have the opportunity to tell us their needs and concerns so we can help them better address these issues in the future.”?
In addition to the science cruise, a laboratory session, and presentations from Ohio Sea Grant, the Ohio Coastal Management Program, the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, and the Ohio Sea Grant Leadership Academy, the event included visits to two historic facilities that are part of Ohio Sea Grant’s education and outreach program. The Aquatic Visitors Center at Put-in-Bay is home to an aquatic education program, run by Ohio Sea Grant for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and provides youth fishing opportunities. Guests also visited the South Bass Island Lighthouse at the south tip of South Bass Island.
“The information presented to attendees was truly eye-opening, and I look forward to sharing as much as possible with other Sandusky City Commissioners, residents and our local media”? says Diedre Cole, City of Sandusky Commissioner. “Hopefully, we can generate additional interest and support for the wonderful projects and on-going research at Stone Lab. I also was able to make key contacts in a number of areas and will be following up with each one.”?
Support for the event was provided by Ohio Sea Grant, the Friends of Stone Laboratory, and the Joyce Foundation.
Located on the 6.5-acre Gibraltar Island in Put-in-Bay harbor, Stone Laboratory is the Ohio State University’s Island Campus on Lake Erie and the education and research facility of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. Established in 1895, Stone Laboratory is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the United States and the center of Ohio State University’s education, outreach, and research on Lake Erie. The Ohio State University’s Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 32 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For information on Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.
Christina Dierkes, Ohio Sea Grant Outreach Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org