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Bird sanctuary created with acquisition of Lake Erie Coastal and Riparian Forest Preserve

BRATENAHL, OH, May 15, 2009: Birding and outdoor enthusiasts have a new recreational outlet with the recent completion of a 19.5-acre acquisition in the village of Bratenahl.

The Lake Erie Coastal and Riparian Forest Preserve is located on the north side of Lake Shore Boulevard and connects with the Lakefront Bike Path. The preserve contains one of the last remaining high-quality mature forests along Greater Cleveland's lakefront and the portion of the Dugway Creek stream corridor and 100-year floodplain that empties into the estuarine environment on the Lake Erie coast.

More than 40 species of birds, including neotropical migrants and eight rare, threatened or endangered species, have been surveyed on site.

“The village is very grateful to our partners for helping us put together this deal, and to our residents, whose generous donations helped make it possible,” said Bratenahl Mayor John Licastro.

The $2.7 million property acquisition was made possible through multi-year partnership efforts by the village of Bratenahl, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Office of Coastal Management.

In 2007, the acquisition project was nationally ranked eight of 59 to receive $1.18 million in federal funding through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP). In Ohio, CELCP is administered by the ODNR Office of Coastal Management.

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy purchased the two parcels comprising the Lake Erie Coastal and Riparian Forest Preserve from willing sellers and held the property for the village. The ODNR Office of Coastal Management helped secure the federal grant dollars, and the land conservancy sought local donations to match the federal grant. When the federal grant and local match funds came through, the village purchased the property from the conservancy.

The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program helps protect lands considered important for their ecological, conservation, recreational, historical or aesthetic value or that are threatened by conversion from a natural or recreational state to other uses.

The ODNR Office of Coastal Management works to achieve a balance between use and preservation of Lake Erie's coastal resources, in collaboration with its partners, by effectively administering the Ohio Coastal Management Program.

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that works to protect natural resources and working lands, and has preserved over 14,000 acres throughout northern Ohio. www.wrlc.cc.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.






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