State Senator Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township) joined Director Jim Zehringer of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources today for a news conference announcing updates to rules aimed at enhancing tourism, promoting business and increasing recreational options for seaplane pilots and passengers.

"We are excited to announce new opportunities that will attract tourism to our state parks and their surrounding communities," said Senator Coley. "As the birthplace of aviation, it is incumbent upon us to make our state one which welcomes aviation enthusiasts and puts Ohio on par with other states."

Senator Coley was greeted with applause by a crowd of local tourism officials and spectators today as he walked ashore for a brief news conference, after landing on Grand Lake St. Marys in a single-engine Glasair Sportsman.

Seaplanes are a common form of transportation in the Great Lakes region, however, state rules have restricted access to only Grand Lake St. Marys with the issuance of a special permit.

State officials plan to proceed with changes which would allow seaplane landings in the coming months on Buckeye Lake, Indian Lake, Long Lake, and Salt Fork Reservoir.

The potential exists to expand access to another dozen state lakes pending approval by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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