July/August 2015 Newsletter:

Help Protect Our Great Lakes by Voicing Opposition to New Shoreline “Protection” Structures

By Gabriela Kaplan, MD

In order to protect our Great Lakes, we must institute new shoreline regulations regarding the so-called “hard” shore protection structures— namely, seawalls, revetments, bulkheads, etc. These structures have recently proven to be destructive to shorelines, coastal habitats, and our health. Legislation to ban or severely curtail these structures has been instituted in such states as Rhode Island, North Carolina, Texas, California, Washington St., and Oregon and in many other countries. In Ohio, permits to build coastal erosion “hard” type protections are readily granted by the ODNR and the Army Corps of Engineers due to conflicting reports and antiquated laws.

In the last hundred years, shore revetments, etc. have changed our coastlines and erased many shores, robbing us of places to walk in the sand, taking with them the ecosystem so vital for the lakes. These and other construction near shores, have caused Ohio to lose 90% of its coastal wetland and many beaches. Their presence, aggravated by crumbling infrastructure, further threatens the cleanliness of our waters. We urgently need to restore our wetlands and enforce the clean water laws. Outbreaks of water pollution cause lake closings and damage to our health and economy.

Our Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh water and provide drinking water for over 40 million people. The loss of a few feet of shore of a few individuals cannot justify the damage this causes to the entire region. Legislators must view shores as a national heritage, devoid of personal interests in order to protect us all.

We voiced these concerns on June 15th and succeeded in having Lakewood officials postpone a revetment project for the Meridian condo. Let’s ask them to also stop the concrete retaining wall for Winton condo until further study. Engineers and councilmen are open to new views. So, let’s call them and also contact all friends of the lakes organizations to join us in this movement to revise shoreline protection laws. Voice your opposition:

City Council:   council@lakewoodoh.net Ph: 216-529-6055

Engineer:  lakewoodengineering@lakewoodoh.net Ph: 216-529-6807