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2019 Annual Meeting

The Ohio Lakefront Group welcomed approximately 300 guests to its 2019 Annual Meeting. In addition, the group broadcast the meeting live via its Facebook page, a copy of which is available here for those with a Facebook account or here for those who do not.

At a short business meeting, the group elected a slate of officers that includes Greg Baeppler (Bay Village), Bob Bunsey (Huron), and Vitas Cyvas (Willowick). Other information, including a financial report, was presented.

After concluding the formal meeting, the group moved to educational discussions and presentations, hearing from Keith Senziak of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Jim Stouffer of the Lake Erie Foundation, and Tony Yankel, President of the Ohio Lakefront Group.

2019 Annual Meeting Powerpoint (as a PDF)

Following the meeting, there were a significant number of questions, especially as it relates to the current high water situation. A number of individuals asked if there is anything that is being done to artificially retain water in Lake Erie or if anything can be done to divert water to lower the lake levels.

Both Mr. Senziak (USACE) and Mr. Yankel, President of the OLG and an engineer) explained that there are no artificial controls of Lake Erie in terms of what is coming in and what is going out that have an impact on how high the waters of the Lake are right now. Only two of the Great Lakes (Ontario and Superior) have measures that could be said to artificially impact the inflow or outflow of Lake Erie. Neither of these have an impact on Lake Erie, because they are more than 300 feet lower than Lake Erie.

More than 90% of the water from Lake Erie flows from the upper Lakes (Huron and Michigan), through the Detroit River, and into Lake Erie. The high water levels are due to increased precipitation and increased storm activity in the area. There are several popular urban legends that flow regulation on the Niagara River is impacting the levels of Lake Erie, but these are not accurate from a scientific standpoint. There are some slight modifications that partially span the Niagara River, which serve to direct flow for aesthetic purposes over the Niagara Falls, however they do not control or limit the amount of water that flows out of the Lake.  This provision has been governed by an international treaty with Canada signed in 1909. The flow structures, which only span part of the river, were installed in the late 50’s. Since that time, water levels have cyclically risen and fallen as part of the natural variation in water levels. In fact, if you think about it, a large part of the regulatory, legislative, and legal battle taken on by the Ohio Lakefront Group was made more obvious because Lake Erie’s water levels have been so cyclical.

Army Corps of Engineers Materials


Buffalo District Regulatory Website:

OH Permit Info:

Regulatory Brochure:

Report a Violation:

OH Littoral Fact Sheet:

Water Management

Lake level info:

Great Lakes Data informational links:

Detroit District Water Level Forecast Page:

USACEs Role During an EmergencyUSACEs Role During an Emergency


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Notice of Annual Meeting

Dear OLG Member: It is time for our Annual Meeting, which will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2019, at the Catawba Island Club (CIC). Registration is at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. (Directions are provided at the end of this letter.) As we have invited several important speakers, the formal part of the meeting should last less than 20 minutes and will consist of only two items: a Treasurer’s Report and a vote to elect 3 members to a 3-year term to the Board of Directors. Listed below are the candidates for the Board. All candidates are currently serving on the Board of Directors.                                     

Greg Baeppler                  Bay Village                

Bob Bunsey                      Huron                        

 Vitas Cyvas                      Willowick                   

 Immediately following will be four very timely presentations:First, I will discuss our current relationship with the new Governor. Under our previous Governor, ODNR was not following the letter and the spirit of the Supreme Court’s decision in our lawsuit. For example, ODNR implemented an “emergency” permitting process in 2018 seemingly to help us. But, for obvious reasons, it was not well received by the public. As of the writing of this letter, we do not know if Governor DeWine is planning to rectify these policies. But, we should know more by the Annual Meeting. 

Second, given the high-water levels of the Lake and the resulting damage to coastal structures and property along the Lake, we will have Lauren Schifferle, a Civil Engineer from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Management Branch speak to us about these high water levels and what to anticipate in the future. You likely know that the Lake level rose over 8 inches just in April, and is rapidly approaching an all-time high. 

Third, as every property owner is very concerned with the damage being caused by the elevated water levels coupled with seemingly endless storms, Keith Sendziak, a Biologist from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Branch, will discuss what structures have been most effective in controlling avulsion and erosion. He will also discuss the Corps’ permitting process. (Spoiler alert – the Corps’ process is much more reasonable than the ODNR’s process.) 

Fourth, Jim Stouffer, President of the Lake Erie Foundation, will speak about green algae and their efforts to bring about appropriate changes via a coalition of various groups and a multi-faceted approach. As always, there will be a question and answered period where you may raise your questions, comments or concerns to the experts. Please take advantage of this unique opportunity. As you can see, we have a lot of beneficial information to share with you. Therefore, please plan to attend the Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Registration begins at 6:30p.m., and the meeting starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. 

Location:  Catawba Island Club (“CIC”) 4235 East Beach Club Rd. Port Clinton, OH 43452 

Directions: From the East or West:Take Ohio Route 2 and go toward Port Clinton as appropriate.Follow Ohio Route 2 to Ohio Route 53 North. Take Exit 124 North.Follow Ohio Route 53 North (W Catawba Rd)Turn left (West) onto CR-30 (N West Catawba Rd.)Turn right onto East Beach Club Rd. 

Light hors d’oeuvres, coffee, and soda will be available. You might recall that because we settled our lawsuit, the Board reduced annual membership dues. Our previous dues were $50 per year, plus a requested additional contribution to support the lawsuit. The dues structure is now $50 per year for those who have (cumulatively) contributed less than $1,000, and $25 per year for those who have (cumulatively) contributed $1,000 or more. Additional contributions are welcome, but not requested at this time.I hope to see you there.

Sincerely, Tony Yankel

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ODNR Purchases Land For Lakeside Daisy

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves will be purchasing land adjacent to the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve near Lake Erie. This site, located on the Marblehead Peninsula in Ottawa County, is home to the only natural population of the Lakeside Daisy remaining in Ohio. The purchase will increase the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve from 19 acres to 137 acres.

Click to enlarge

“Having the opportunity to expand a state nature preserve as unique and important to Ohio as Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve means that the Lakeside Daisy will be enjoyed by our grandchildren and future generations,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Securing another 118 acres to add to the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve will benefit Ohio’s ecosystem and tourism in the area.”

For people interested in seeing the Lakeside Daisy in bloom, a public hike has been scheduled at Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve for Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 12, starting at noon and lasting until approximately 1 p.m. This will be an excellent chance to see this state endangered flower up close, providing excellent opportunities for photographs.

Acquiring this property will protect more than 700,000 Lakeside Daisy plants. This property will also protect valuable habitat for migratory bird species crossing Lake Erie, such as the federally endangered Kirtland’s warbler, bald eagle and many more.

Funding for this acquisition comes from both a sizable grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and donations from Ohioans using their state income tax refunds to support Ohio State Nature Preserves.

Lakeside Daisy was listed as endangered in Ohio in 1980 and was listed as federally threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1988. Acquiring this property will further enhance the ability of this species to survive in the future.

This is shared from the ODNR website.

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Environmental Law and Policy Center Releases Study

logoThe Environmental Law Policy Center (ELPC) recently released a study that it says is intended for use by policy makers to understand the impact of climate change on Lake Erie and urge them to take steps to respond.
The nearly 75 page report looks at numerous factors and concludes that climate change is causing “significant and far-reaching” impacts on Lake Erie and the 35 million people who live in the Lake Erie Basin.

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