December 2013 & January 2014
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Ohio Lake Erie Commission

Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, was recently selected by Ohio Governor John Kasich as one of four new appointees to serve on the Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC).

“I’m very excited and grateful to begin serving on the Ohio Lake Erie Commission,” said Mr. Toth. “The goals of the OLEC and the goals of the Port Authority are in perfect alignment. Both value Lake Erie as an irreplaceable resource that provides environmental and economic benefits to northwest Ohio. The Port Authority has a history of implementing the best environmental practices by successfully cleaning up brownfield sites and implementing energy efficient projects throughout the region, and is dedicated to improving our community’s quality of life.”

Among other duties, the commission oversees the management of the Lake Erie Protection Fund. Commissioners coordinate state and local policies pertaining to Lake Erie water quality, pollution control, and resource protection. They make recommendations about policies for protection of the lake resources that are consistent with the Great Lakes water quality agreement.

OLEC consists of the directors of state environmental protection, natural resources, health, agriculture, transportation, and development services, and five additional members appointed by the governor. William Murdock, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), continues to serve as the fifth appointee. MORPC is a sister agency of TMACOG based in Franklin County.

The U.S. EPA recently announced a $500,000 grant to the Ohio Lake Erie Commission to study the causes of harmful algal blooms and low oxygen levels in Lake Erie. Specifically, this project will:
  • Track the movement of various forms of phosphorus and nitrogen in the Western     Lake Erie Basin;
  • Assess nutrient sources (by type and location) that contribute to formation of     harmful algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin, and
  • Examine the extent to which phosphorus loading in the Western Lake Erie Basin     contributes to low oxygen levels (hypoxia) in the Central Lake Erie Basin.
“This project is critically important for understanding the dynamics of nutrients and their impact on algal blooms and hypoxia in Lake Erie,” said Gail Hesse, Director of Ohio's Lake Erie Commission. “The results of this project will enable better management decisions in our efforts to address the issues that face Lake Erie.”

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