Clean Ohio Fund Support Sought
Kevin Joyce, Executive Director of the Black Swamp Conservatory, is one of scores of environmental and business leaders in Ohio who are working together to advocate for continued investment in the Clean Ohio Fund. The group is asking local government officials, hunting and fishing advocates, and others concerned with conservation and economic protection to contact state legislators asking that they appropriate the remaining $52 million in conservation bonds for the Clean Ohio Fund. The fund was first approved by voters in 2000 and overwhelmingly renewed in all 88 Ohio counties in 2008.
In Lucas County, the Clean Ohio Fund has returned $8.2 million in taxpayer dollars back to the county since 2000. TMACOG Vice President of Environmental Planning Kurt Erichsen said, “The fund has helped Lucas County preserve and protect critical habitat in the Oak Openings Region and has established public access to wetlands and park areas.” TMACOG manages Lucas County’s Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC) which solicits applications for the Clean Ohio Fund, provides information about the scoring system, and evaluates area applications.
The Clean Ohio Fund is a $400 million state bond initiative. It is a public-private partnership that offers conservation, recreational, and economic benefits to the citizens of Ohio while not obligating state government resources to manage the areas preserved. See a fact sheet about the Clean Ohio Fund here. Contact information for Ohio lawmakers is in the 2013 Directory of Public Officials which was distributed to TMACOG members in March.