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GLIN==> 2000 Ohio Lake Erie Award Winners

September 8, 2000

CONTACT:   Jamie Kochensparger
Public Information Specialist
		Ohio Lake Erie Commission

For Immediate Release

Robert Wysenski and Ohio Sea Grant College Program Lauded as 2000 Ohio Lake
Erie Award Winners

TOLEDO, OH -  Robert Wysenski,  formerly with the Ohio Environmental
Protection Agency, and the Ohio Sea Grant College Program were lauded for
their outstanding contributions to Lake Erie at the Ninth Annual Ohio Lake
Erie Conference on September 7, 2000 held at the Radisson Harbour Inn in
Sandusky, OH.  Each was a recipient of the 2000 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.

Robert Wysenski, a 27-year veteran with the Ohio Environmental Protection
Agency (OEPA), dedicated much of his life towards realizing the dream of
improving the water quality and habitats of the Lake Erie region, with
particular regard to the Cuyahoga River. He is recognized as an
international expert on Great Lakes water quality issues, and was
instrumental in the establishment and implementation of the Cuyahoga River
Remedial Action Plan (RAP), and has continued as a mentor, coach, and
consultant. Bob was a driving force in the Middle Cuyahoga River Total
Maximum Daily Load process and played a critical role in the Akron water
division issue. His leadership, interpersonal skills, professional and
common sense approach to environmental protection successfully brought all
parties to the table to produce workable results, ultimately creating a
better Lake Erie watershed for all Ohioans.

The Ohio Sea Grant College Program was founded in 1977 as part of a National
Sea Grant network, and has since become a premier program of its kind. Ohio
Sea Grant is committed to excellence in each of its three missions:
Research, Education, and Extension Services.

Through Ohio Sea Grant, research grants have been awarded to 12 Ohio
universities, annually supporting over 40 student scientists. From this
work, Ohio has become an international center of excellence for the study of
zebra mussels and other invasive species, transfer of contaminants through
aquatic food chains, underwater welding technology, aquaculture, and more.

Educational efforts of Ohio Sea Grant have provided curriculum materials for
classrooms across the state to enhance the quality of science education.
Over 50,000 publications are distributed annually and its web site is
visited by approximately a half million people per year. Each summer,
hundreds of high school and college students receive a hands-on science
experience at Stone Laboratory, the world's premier freshwater field

Ohio Sea Grant's six extension agents have been the crucial link between
academia and the Lake Erie community. Eight freshwater artificial reefs have
been constructed in the central basin of Lake Erie, including three recycled
from the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The program has developed the
largest charter captains' conference in the country, and has enhanced the
charter fishing industry from approximately 50 businesses to over 900. Lake
related businesses have been developed, retained and expanded resulting in
$15 million in new investments annually. The Extension program produces over
$50 of economic activity per state dollar invested in the program.

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.


Jamie Kochensparger
Public Information Specialist
Ohio Lake Erie Commission
One Maritime Plaza, 4th Floor
Toledo, OH  43604-1866
fax:  419/245-2519

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