February 12, 2010—Representing the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), staff members of the Division of Geological Survey and the Office of Coastal Management recently completed a series of public meetings to announce the release of the 2010 preliminary coastal erosion area designation maps and to answer questions and obtain comments from the public in each of Ohio’s eight coastal counties—Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Ottawa, and Sandusky.
While these meetings are mandated by Ohio law, ODNR professionals approached each event as an occasion to raise public awareness about the dangers of coastal erosion and to ensure concerned citizens of the role the ODNR takes in mitigating the effects of this geologic hazard. Each meeting gave Ohioans the opportunity to raise their concerns and comments about the coastal erosion area designations, real estate disclosure, permitting of new construction in those areas, how to read the maps, how to object to the designations, and other coastal issues. Overall, the hearings were well received and attended.
“It’s always beneficial for citizens to have direct access to the geologists and engineers who designate and permit coastal erosion areas,” said Geological Survey Assistant Chief Mac Swinford. “Ultimately, we are here to help.”
The Coastal Erosion Area (CEA) Program is part of the Ohio Coastal Management Law, passed by the state legislature in 1988, which recognizes the serious hazards and substantial economic losses caused by erosion along Ohio’s Lake Erie coast. Ohio law requires the ODNR to identify and designate Lake Erie coastal erosion areas and enforce a permit system for construction or redevelopment of permanent structures within those areas. According to Ohio Revised Code, coastal erosion areas are “areas anticipated to be lost by Lake Erie-related erosion within a thirty-year period if no additional approved erosion control measures are completed within that time.”
The Survey’s role in the CEA Program is to map Ohio’s Lake Erie coast and designate the coastal erosion areas using state-of-the-art aerial photography and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. The Office of Coastal Management administers the permitting of development and construction in coastal erosion areas.
To learn more about the CEA Program and mapping process, view the maps, and get answers to frequently asked questions about the program, log on to the CEA Program Web site at www.ohiodnr.com/CEAm. To learn more about Lake Erie geologic history, water levels, coastal erosion, and research, see the Survey’s Lake Erie geology page.