Collaborating for a Healthy Lake Erie

In Northern Ohio, we are all connected to Lake Erie. The Lake provides drinking water for millions of people, drives our economy, provides habitat for wildlife and enhances our quality of life. Our Great Lake starts with each of us in our backyards, businesses and communities. What we do upstream affects what happens downstream, preventing or contributing to problems like flooding, erosion, water pollution and degraded habitat. Local watershed organizations play a key role in connecting people and communities to solve these problems.
Chagrin River Watershed Partners brought together watershed organizations in 2014 to explore how we could work together on a larger scale to expand our capability to address threats to local waterways and Lake Erie. The Watershed Partners worked with The Institute for Conservation Leadership to lead a series of talks among organizations and pilot a shared services model with generous support from the George Gund Foundation. This effort formed the Central Lake Erie Basin Collaborative, a network of watershed organizations that shares expertise and resources, pools strengths, and efficiently delivers services to protect our Great Lake.
Since then, Chagrin River Watershed Partners has continued leading and expanding the Collaborative by writing successful grant applications to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the George Gund Foundation, matched by participating watershed organizations, the Cleveland Foundation and Arcelor Mittal. These grant funds support two project managers, one of whom is housed at our office, to serve local watershed organizations and communities.
Our newly expanded team of five technical professionals has extensive experience in watershed planning, protection and natureā€based solutions to flooding, erosion and water pollution. Our team serves our members and works with partners across Northern Ohio to target, plan and implement protection and restoration projects and help communities adopt local watershed protection codes. This grant funding will also support hiring a professional consulting firm to develop restoration and stormwater project plans that watershed organizations need to secure funding. Participating organizations are working together to raise awareness of the value of clean water and everyone’s role in the health of Lake Erie and its watersheds.
Chagrin River Watershed Partners is proud to lead this innovative partnership. Together we can achieve healthy watersheds and a clean Lake Erie and keep our region a great place to live, work and play.