Community level grants help control erosion, sedimentation – Rep. Kaptur to highlight local projects to benefit water quality

Space shuttle photo
Castalia map

The attached space shuttle photo illustrates a major problem – plumes of sediment entering Lake Erie and filling Sandusky Bay. Though few realize it, sediment is the #1 pollutant of waters in northern Ohio and the rest of the Great Lakes basin.

Community level efforts to address this issue in northern Ohio and the rest of the Great Lakes basin will be the subject of a special event headed by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH 9th) this Thursday, Oct. 19, at 2:30 p.m. in Castalia, Ohio.

Rep. Kaptur will be on hand to discuss local initiatives to control erosion and sedimentation in northern Ohio and help demonstrate one such project, one of the newest to be initiated this year under the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control. Information on other current Basin Program projects in the region will be provided as well.

The problems caused by erosion and sedimentation go far beyond traditional topsoil conservation/land preservation concerns. Excess sediment smothers aquatic habitat, makes it hard for fish to breathe and find food, clogs boating and navigation channels, and bears with it pesticides, fertilizer, petroleum products and other pollutants from the land.

Since 1991, the Great Lakes Basin Program has funded 46 soil erosion and sedimentation projects in northern Ohio, providing more than $1.5 million in federal funds and attracting another $1.1 million in matching funds. Nearly 4,000 acres are under some form of permanent conservation treatment in Ohio, keeping more than 11,000 tons of soil on the land and more than 41,000 lbs. of phosphorous and 10,000 lbs. of nitrogen out of the water.

Great Lakes Basin Program projects also help control flooding by slowing runoff from rainstorms and snow melt.

Thursday’s event will be held at the Castalia cemetery (see map), behind the Margaretta Township Road Dept., 312 Lucas St. The event will demonstrate equipment purchased under a Great Lakes Basin Program grant for shared use by Erie County communities in seeding and mulching erosion-prone areas following drainage improvements and other bare, exposed patches of earth.

A photo and video opportunity will be provided through a demonstration of the equipment, a high-capacity mulching machine that resembles an oversized snow blower in operation. In the event of inclement weather, the press conference will be held at the

In addition to Rep. Kaptur, other speakers will include Edie Dodrill, director of the Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District, which is managing the project; and Tim Eder, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission, which provides support services for the Great Lakes Basin Program.

In case of inclement weather, the press conference will be held at the Margaretta Township Hall, 114 Main St., Castalia.

For immediate release: October 18, 2006
Contact: Kirk Haverkamp,, office: 734-971-9135


The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Lt. Gov. John Cherry (Mich.), is an interstate compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators, and agency officials from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formalObserver program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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