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Lake Erie Caucus formed

Tom Jackson • Dec 14, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Two state lawmakers who represent Erie and Ottawa counties have formed a new bipartisan caucus to preserve the health of Lake Erie and enhance the lake’s potential for developing tourism and creating jobs.

The new Lake Erie Caucus is a product of discussions among lawmakers who include state Sen. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green and state Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island. Both lawmakers represent Ottawa and Erie counties.

The new caucus will hold its organizational meeting next month. The two lawmakers say they represent more Lake Erie shoreline than any other state lawmakers.

“Lake Erie is one of Ohio’s truly great natural assets” said Gardner. “We just believe the lake and all it means to Ohio needs even more focus. As state legislators, we have an obligation to provide that focus and leadership”

“Randy and I have been talking about creating a Lake Erie Caucus for some time now,” Redfern said.

Redfern predicted all of the House and Senate members who represent a portion of the Lake Erie shore will agree to join the caucus and said he expects many members in the Lake Erie watershed also should be interested.

Gardner said a Democrat, state Sen. Capri Cafaro, D-Hubbard, will serve with him as the Senate joint chairman of the caucus. Cafaro represents Ashtabula County, which has a long stretch of Lake Erie shoreline east of Cleveland.

“I am proud to represent a portion of the North Shore” Cafaro said. “I look forward to substantive discussions about the lake’s role in economic growth and tourism, as well as ways to preserve the environmental health of the water”

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