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November 27, 2021 3:08 am


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Lake Erie License Plate Proceeds Fund Projects to Benefit the Watershed

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) awarded three grants through Ohio’s Lake Erie Protection Fund at the commission’s June meeting at Heidelberg University in Tiffin.

The fund was established to help finance research and projects aimed at protecting, preserving and restoring Lake Erie and its watershed. The fund is supported by Ohioans through tax-deductible donations or purchase of a Lake Erie license plate displaying the Marblehead Lighthouse or the Lake Erie life preserver.

Grants were awarded to:


  • Heidelberg University – $14,994 to develop a fast, reliable method of identification based on gene sequencing to determine the presence and distribution of native and invasive clams. Establishment of DNA barcodes at the species and subspecies levels will help researchers understand the current biodiversity of Lake Erie and waterbodies throughout Ohio. Broader management implications of this project include potential application to many groups of aquatic organisms in routine monitoring, as well as surveys to detect invasive species.


  • The Ohio State University – $15,000 to determine whether specific brands of household pitcher-style water purification systems are effective at removing microcystin from drinking water. Water with varying concentrations of microcystin will be used for the experiments. Three common brands will be tested and microcystin concentrations will be determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits.


  • Cleveland State University – $35,000 to build upon progress achieved in recent years in the development of resource materials and publication of “Linking Land Use and Ohio’s Waters: Best Local Land Use Practices.” There will be three primary elements of the proposed project including continuation of technical assistance to local communities, outreach on best practices tools and resources such as workshops, and continuing development of relevant program materials.


All donations and proceeds from the sale of Lake Erie license plates are used to fund grants to benefit Ohio’s Great Lake. Citizens also may make tax-deductible donations directly to the Lake Erie Protection Fund by sending a check to the commission office at 111 E. Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870.


The director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency serves as the commission’s chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development Services, Agriculture, Natural Resources and four additional members appointed by Governor John Kasich.

For more information about the Lake Erie Protection Fund or to read about past grant projects, visit:

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