Metroparks wins grant to make project shovel ready
A conceptual plan for expanding lakefront land farther out into Lake Erie would not only create more land for lakefront recreation, but it would also protect Interstate 90 from damage by wave action and rising lake water levels resulting from climate change.
While shovel-ready plans for an expanded lakefront park just east of downtown Cleveland could be just 18 months away, don’t expect to be able to use that enlarged park for many more years. That’s especially true for a proposed off-shore park island.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced yesterday that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) through the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF) has awarded a $985,000 grant to the Cleveland Metroparks for the Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Design and Engineering (CHEERS) Plan.
It was the second federal grant of almost identical size won by the Metroparks this past week. Earlier, the Metroparks won a $950,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop shovel-ready plans for two hike-and-bike trails and to study the feasibility of two others. All four trails would be part of the ambitious Cuyahoga Greenways Plan.
The latest funding award will help design a plan for 79 acres of water and public parkland along Cleveland’s Lake Erie shoreline to build habitat and expand parks, protecting the critical infrastructure of Interstate 90 along the shore, and stabilizing the unpredictable high wind and waves adjacent to key recreation and transportation facilities. Brown wrote to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in support of this project. Once the planning work is done over the next 18 months, the Metroparks can apply for federal construction funds.
“Lake Erie is one of Ohio’s most important natural resources and we must do all we can to keep it healthy for the families, boaters, and anglers that use the lake every day,” said Brown in a written statement. “Redeveloping Cleveland’s eastern lakefront is good for the city and will increase access to this irreplaceable resource.”
Read more about Cleveland Metroparks lakefront plan at NEOtrans