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Where there is Public Access to Lake Erie

There are 116 coastal recreational access locations along Ohio’s 312-mile Lake Erie coast. Combined, these public areas consist of 41.7 miles of accessible shore, approximately 13 percent of the entire coast.

The points were identified and field-checked in 2005 by the Office of Coastal Management. Erie County has the most publicly accessible recreation areas with 25 locations, followed by Cuyahoga and Lake counties (21 each), Ottawa County (17), Lorain County (13), Ashtabula County (11), Lucas County (7), and Sandusky County (1).

These 116 coastal recreational locations are owned by the public and are managed and policed by government entities (Federal, State/ODNR/County, Municipal).

  • There are 152 Public Ramp Sites.
  • There are 312 Boat Access Sites.

It is noteworthy that the 41+ miles of publicly accessible recreation areas require citizens to abide by restrictions of time of day, season, and regulation. ODNR employees, Metro Park Rangers, Sheriffs, and local police these areas.

The public use of our beaches has provided none of the above restrictions as to time of day, litter, criminal behavior, etc.

This runs counter to the misinformation that private property owners are stealing from the people of Ohio.

This publication is available on a DVD that they have been distributing it for two years. It is an excellent publication and interesting from many aspects.

This Atlas is available on line or is available on DVD by contacting the OCM at:

Office of Coastal Management

105 West Shoreline Drive

Sandusky, OH 44870



Fax: 419-626-7983

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Ohio Department of Resources Settles on Damages on Lakefront Properties

By TIM RUDELL • AUG 9, 2016

Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources said the boundaries of privately owned on the Lake Erie Shore stopped at the water’s edge of the high-water mark of the lake. That was regardless of where deeds showed property lines to have been before erosion or water level changes. In 2012, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled against ODNR. But four more years have passed as another aspect of the case played out.

Tony Yankel Comment

ListenTony Yankel Comment

Tony Yankel is a leader of the Ohio Lakefront Group–that includes thousands of affected property owners. “The Supreme Court made an interpretation; but, what kind of damages have occurred? So that’s the phase we were in. And, we’ve come up with a settlement with respect to damages. There is no settlement with respect to ownership. That was already decided in 2012.”

Possible resolution
The proposed settlement involves ODNR paying a little over $6-million in damages and legal fees. Eric Heis is an agency spokesman. “The State and ODNR deny any wrong-doing or liability. But, the parties have agreed to a settlement, because it eliminates risk of adverse outcomes at trial for either party. At the same time it also provides opportunity for payment to members of the settlement class. And, the resolution, and end of the lawsuit basically.”

ODNR Spokesman Comment

Listen: ODNR pays damages but denies wrong-doing

Back to court

The settlement still must be approved in Erie County Common Pleas Court where the original suit was filed. A hearing on it is expected there in October.


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Legal Notice for settlement with Lake Erie Lakeshore Property Owners (and Claim Form)

The Court has appointed a third party to perform the settlements with owners of Lake Erie lakefront property. A legal notice has been prepared to give information about the settlement and how to file a claim for compensation from ODNR. This information applies to both Submerged Lands Lease holders, improperly charged to lease their own property, as well as to all lakefront property owners who can be compensated for the illegal taking of their property to the Ordinary High Water Mark. In order to receive any compensation, a lakeshore property owner must follow these instructions and file a claim form. To read these instructions and receive a claim form you can visit the website which also provides the legal Stipulation and the Preliminary Order from the Court approving the stipulation.  The information on our website is the actual legal notice sent to lakeshore property owners for which we have email addresses as well as this notice that will be published in local newspapers. The claim form is the same as that provided on the website of the Merrill vs. ODNR Administrator (JND Class Action Administration). This JND website provides all information including phone number and address of the Administrator.

Legal Notice: Legal Notice


Claim Form: Claim Form

Please DO NOT contact the Court regarding the settlement except as otherwise stated in the legal notice.

Since the settlement is being handled by a third party, questions should be referred to the third party as provided in the legal notice.  It would be good if we were given a copy of the questions and a copy of the answers.

Telephone (toll-free): 1-844-360-2770

Mailing Address

Merrill v. ODNR Claims Administrator
c/o JND Class Action Administration
PO Box 6878
Broomfield, CO 80021

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Judge Lucci Issues Preliminary Approval to Terms of Settlement between OLG and ODNR

As posted on June 14th of this year. the Honorable Judge Eugene Lucci issued an order for preliminary approval for an agreed to settlement of our class action lawsuit against ODNR and the State of Ohio. The final hearing for any oral arguments or objections by class members will be held October 14 of this year. A publication in the newspapers will advise of this hearing and instructions for any who wish to appear at the final hearing. A Settlement agent has been named who will administer claims for distribution of the money that will be paid to the submerged lands leaseholders as well as other qualified lakeshore owners claimants.   If this settlement is approved, that will be the end of the more than 12 year old court battle which OLG won in every Court initially and on two subsequent appeals. If the settlement is not approved, we go back to square one in the litigation where it left off. OLG sees this settlement as a win for lakeshore owners. The settlement was reached after nearly a year of negotiations and OLG believes that this is the best settlement that could be attained without going back to litigation. To read Judge Lucci’s full order please click the following link. Order preliminarily approving class action settlement (03800632x7A241)

OLG President Tony Yankel issued a press release on June 14 which has been covered in most of the local newspapers. To read the press release, OLG Press Release 6-15-16

The Settlement Document called the Stipulation lays out all the terms and conditions of the settlement. This is another lengthy document. Exhibit B includes the instructions for submitting a claim to be compensated for (1) lease payments and (2) taking by ODNR. It also provides for persons who may object to the settlement and how they can provide written objection to the Court. Exhibit C is  is the plan of allocation including the methodology that will be used to calculate payments. Exhibit C-1  is a spreadsheet for submerged lands lease holders and the expected repayment by ODNR. In most cases repayment is pennies on the dollar, based on ODNR’s determination of where the property boundary lies. The spread sheet begins on page 41 of the document. Exhibit D begins on page 197 of the document and is Judge Lucci Order for Preliminary Approval of the Class action settlement. To view the document, click the following link: Stipulation of Settlement w-Exhibits 5-27-16


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