ASHTABULA –  State Sen. Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta) announced today that the state Controlling Board approved $367,232 in federal grant money to benefit Lake Erie coastline conservation in Ashtabula County.

“As co-chair of the Ohio Legislative Trails Caucus, I am happy any time our state receives funding for conservation projects, but I am especially happy when those funds go to benefit my district,” said Sen. O’Brien. “This grant money will go a long way toward protecting a lot of natural habitat in our area of the state.”

The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) grant was awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which allocates funds annually to facilitate environmental conservation in Ohio through the Ohio Coastal Management Program. Matching funds in an amount equal to the grant are being provided by the grant sub-awardee, Ashtabula County Metroparks, to complete projects made possible by the CELCP funds.

This year’s CELCP grant, approved today by the Ohio Controlling Board, will go toward facilitating Ashtabula County Metroparks’ acquisition of a 118-acre site, located approximately 700 feet south of the Lake Erie shoreline.  According to a Controlling Board award summary document, the acquisition of this land will “protect a significant coastal property and ensure critical migratory bird stopover habitat is preserved within an area of growing residential development.” Additionally, protection of this parcel of land will ensure wetland restoration opportunities along approximately 1.5 miles of Red Brook, a direct tributary of Lake Erie, and will also provide a passive recreation space close to Lake Erie. 

“I very much look forward to working with the good people of Ashtabula County Metroparks to ensure the preservation of our precious natural habitat along the Lake Erie shoreline,” said Sen. O’Brien. “I, along with my fellow members of the OLTC, will continue to do everything possible at the state level to pursue conservation opportunities like this throughout the state of Ohio.”

The OLTC is a bipartisan, bicameral group of Ohio state legislators who share a commitment to developing, maintaining and preserving Ohio’s system of non-motorized trails and supporting other environmental conservation initiatives.

Further information about the grant, including a breakdown of what the funds will be used for, can be found here.

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