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News Release


September 15, 2005





TOLEDO, OH – Lake Erie Coastal Ohio, Inc., a non-profit organization promoting natural and historic sites along Lake Erie, and Heidelberg College professor Dr. David Baker, who has led regional research on water quality, are winners of the 2005 Ohio Lake Erie Awards, according to the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.


“These award recipients have shown a great commitment to protecting and promoting Lake Erie and its watershed,” said Edwin J. Hammett, executive director of the commission. “We commend their efforts.”


The commission honors one person and one organization each year that have worked to protect and restore Lake Erie and its watershed. Since 1995, the commission has awarded 10 individuals and 10 organizations for their stewardship.


Lake Erie Coastal Ohio, Inc., led by director Melinda Huntley, has linked more than 200 locations along the Ohio lakeshore into a trail of historic and natural sites. Their efforts have had a significant impact on the economy and tourism along Lake Erie. The organization is also dedicated to educating the community and policymakers about the importance of Lake Erie’s resources. It was also an integral player in the designation of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail as Ohio’s latest scenic byway.


Dr. David Baker is director emeritus of Heidelberg College’s Water Quality Laboratory and is also professor emeritus of biology. His legacy recently was honored when the newly built Gillmor Science Hall at Heidelberg College with a Water Quality Lab and National Center for Water Quality Research was named for him in tribute. Dr. Baker has led the region in researching the impacts of agriculture on water resources in streams, rivers and lakes as well as the evaluation of the effectiveness of agriculture pollution abatement programs.  He has played an important role in the formation of the Sandusky River Watershed Coalition and continues to be active.


The Ohio Lake Erie Commission was created to preserve Lake Erie's natural resources, enhance its water quality and promote economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources serves as the commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the departments of transportation, development, health, agriculture and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.




For Additional Information Contact:

Edwin J. Hammett, Ohio Lake Erie Commission

(419) 245-2514