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GLIN==> 2001 Ohio Lake Erie Awards Announced

September 6, 2001

For Immediate Release

James W. Cowden and the Conservation Action Project Lauded as 2001 Ohio Lake Erie Award Winners

TOLEDO, OH -  James W. Cowden and the Conservation Action Project were lauded for their outstanding contributions to Lake Erie at the 10th Annual Ohio Lake Erie Conference on September 6, 2001 held at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites LaMalfa Centre in Mentor, OH.  Each was a recipient of a 2001 Ohio Lake Erie Award presented by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. 

Since 1995, citizens and organizations whose efforts have greatly enhanced Lake Erie, and who have devoted their life's work to the environmental stewardship of Lake Erie have been honored with the Ohio Lake Erie Award.  Based on name submissions and recommendations from its member agencies and collaborative partners, the Ohio Lake Erie Commission selects recipients of this distinctive honor.

James W. Cowden of Brecksville has been a friend of Lake Erie, and of the people who use and enjoy it, throughout his life. Cowden was one of the founders of several non-profit citizens' organizations, including Great Lakes Tomorrow in 1977, and the Ohio Coastal Resources Management Project (OCRMP) in 1982 in which he continues as Vice President. OCRMP initiated a broad-based citizen task force in 1987, the efforts of which resulted in the passage of legislation creating a coastal management program for Ohio. 

Cowden has served on the Cuyahoga River Remedial Plan (RAP) since its beginning in 1988. He continues as a member of the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization and the RAP Steering Committee in which he chairs the Human Health Work Group. He participated for several years in the development of the Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP), and continues involvement emphasizing protection of human health and the environment.

ADD ONE - 2001 Ohio Lake Erie Awards

Cowden's enthusiasm and commitment to Lake Erie carried through his years as a researcher, educator, coordinator and consultant at Kent State University and Hiram College, where he always had time to provide thoughtful insight on Lake Erie issues to students and citizens. He has written extensively and provided expert testimony on a range of topics including water resources planning, pollution control, public health and public involvement in policy development.

The Conservation Action Project (CAP) continues to make a positive difference in conserving the soil and water resources in Northwest Ohio and improving the quality of Lake Erie. The CAP initiative began in May 1988 at a farm along the banks of the Maumee River. From the beginning, its goal was to promote the adoption of conservation tillage practices in the watershed to reduce soil erosion and the loading of phosphorus into Lake Erie. During this period, the adoption of conservation tillage in the CAP area has increased from under 5% to a high of 80%. 

In 1998, CAP recruited 20 agricultural dealers to each work with five farmers new to conservation tillage and assist them in making this practice work long-term on their farms. Today, 40 CAP dealers assist farmers with conservation tillage throughout the Maumee River watershed. Since 1994, over 1.7 million tons of sediment and over 3.4 million pounds of phosphorus have been kept out of the Maumee River and Lake Erie.

CAP has initiated many educational events and activities in its service area including field day tours and workshops, demonstration areas, and public presentations. Sudden Soil Density meetings were held for 450 growers. An educational website has been developed and a newsletter is now sent to over 2400 people in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. CAP has also assisted 50 farms in securing yield monitors and global positioning systems. 

CAP provides a valuable service to its constituents who are given new skills and can have their questions and concerns answered locally. CAP's efforts have been rewarded by the local support of over 15 companies, agencies, dealers, and local farmers who have collectively donated over $763,250 in money and services toward CAP programs.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission commends both of these Lake Erie Award winners for their exceptional commitment to Lake Erie, its protection, and the people who use and enjoy it. For more information, contact the Commission Office at 419/245-2514 or by e-mail at oleo@www.epa.state.oh.us.


For press information, contact Jamie Kochensparger, Public Information Specialist, Ohio Lake Erie Commission at 419/245-2514 or jamie.kochen@www.epa.state.oh.us			 

Jamie Kochensparger
Public Information Specialist
Ohio Lake Erie Commission
One Maritime Plaza, 4th Floor
Toledo, OH  43604-1866
V:  419/245-2514
F:  419/245-2519
E:  jamie.kochen@www.epa.state.oh.us

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