January 2011
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Portage River Canoe/Kayak Water Trail Access

Right now, there is limited public access of any kind along the Portage River and no structured access points where a person could safely load in a canoe or kayak.

That situation could change. TMACOG has submitted a grant application to the Ohio Office of Coastal Management to start a process to establish small watercraft launch sites on the main stem of the Portage. The river in this reach is in almost entirely natural riparian condition, meandering through small towns and farmland. The application - submitted in partnership with all the communities along the river - asks for funding for a feasibility study to identify safe launch sites on 35 river miles of the Portage River. The stretch of the river identified extends from where the main stem starts in Pemberville and continues through Woodville, Elmore, and Oak Harbor to where it ends at Port Clinton and Lake Erie. The park districts of Wood, Sandusky and Ottawa counties also endorse and support the application. A feasibility study would provide an estimate of construction costs for low-impact access sites and identify sources of funding for low-maintenance, durable infrastructure, and signage.

The communities along the river are full partners on this grant, committed to working with a consultant to investigate creation of a water trail to Lake Erie. Increasing public access to the water is one of the goals of the Ohio Office of Coastal Management grant programs. TMACOG will find out in the spring if the proposal was successful, and work could start in July, 2011.

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