Ohio Lake Erie Commission Awards $102,000 In Grants
More than $102,000 has been awarded to seven research projects that will benefit Lake Erie and its fisheries, according to the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.
The Ohio State University Research Foundation will receive $10,000 for a study of vitamin concentrations in walleye eggs and the influence those concentrations have on embryo survival. Results of the study will help researchers better understand threats to vanishing species from environmental changes.
The U.S. Geological Survey will receive $10,000 to collect water samples from the Cuyahoga River at a site within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to determine the relationship between E. coli concentrations and turbidity in the stream. The project will help develop a tool to determine if the river is safe for recreation or if advisories should be posted.
Cleveland State University will receive $9,999 for a project to promote a Transfer Development Rights (TDR) study of a northeast Ohio community to demonstrate how TDR can serve as a land conservation tool. Funding for this grant will come from the Balanced Growth Program of the Lake Erie Protection Fund since the Balanced Growth Task Force recommended use of TDR as a best local land use practice.
Heidelberg College will receive $10,000 for a project that compares data on current phosphorus bioavailability in Lake Erie to similar data collected in the early 1980s. The project will help researchers better understand the relationship between phosphorus loading in lake tributaries and nutrient status within the lake itself.
The University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center will receive $9,891 to study the interrelationships between yellow perch feeding on mayflies with the expansion of zebra and quagga mussel populations and low oxygen conditions. Results will lead to greater understanding of the impact of invasive mussel species on native sportfish.
The commission also awarded a special grant of $52,739 to the center for a two-year project studying the effects of light and nutrients within the Maumee River plume on algae blooms in Lake Erie in an effort to prevent the blooms from occurring. The Ohio Sea Grant Program and the Lake Erie Commission will jointly fund this project.
Bowling Green State University will receive $10,000 for a study of mayflies in western Lake Erie and how they affect the transfer of toxic materials to sportfish. The data generated will help identify special protection areas for the propagation of Lake Erie sportfish.
These quarterly Lake Erie Commission grants are limited to $10,000 or less each and are generally awarded for one year unless the specific nature of the project warrants a longer time period. Small grants may be used as seed money to test the feasibility of larger research projects or to support other small projects. Small grant proposals are reviewed and selected at each quarterly meeting of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. The next deadline for proposals is January 31.
The Lake Erie Commission oversees the Ohio Lake Erie Protection Fund, which is the source of grant funding. This fund is supported by Ohioans each time they purchase an “Erie...Our Great Lake” license plate displaying either the Marblehead Lighthouse or the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse, as designed by Ohio artist Ben Richmond.
The commission was created to preserve Lake Erie’s natural resources, enhance its water quality and promote economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources serves as the commission’s chairman. Additional members include the directors of the departments of transportation, development, health, agriculture and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.