One third of Lake Erie coast is impacted by erosion


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Updated maps that document Lake Erie coastal recession in Ohio and designate coastal erosion areas have been finalized, and are being made available for public viewing online and at several locations in Ohio’s eight coastal counties.

Under Ohio’s Coastal Management Law, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey is required to measure and map erosion of the state’s Lake Erie shore.

Land areas predicted to recede within a 30-year period, if additional approved erosion control measures are not completed, are included in designated coastal erosion areas. A coastal erosion area extends a certain distance landward from the water’s edge based upon the rate of recession along that stretch of coast. Maps designating coastal erosion areas are updated periodically.

Erosion areas

In January 2010, some Lake Erie coastal property owners in Ohio received letters notifying them that their properties were, according to the latest map updates, located in coastal erosion areas. Two comment periods followed, during which property owners could formally object to the maps if they could show the maps were in error.

The Division of Geological Survey reviewed all objections and, where necessary, made adjustments to the maps. The 2010 maps have now been finalized and will be distributed in the coming weeks. The final maps also can be viewed at

New maps

The 2010 maps replace all earlier coastal erosion maps for regulatory and property disclosure purposes. A coastal erosion area permit is required prior to the construction of a new building or septic system or addition of 500 or more square feet within a designated coastal erosion area.

Tell buyers

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Office of Coastal Management oversees permitting requirements within coastal erosion areas. Also, the sale or transfer of property within a coastal erosion area requires the seller to disclose to the buyer that the property, or a portion of it, is included in a coastal erosion area.

With roughly 33 percent of Ohio’s Lake Erie coast receding to some degree, and with about 11 percent projected to recede at least 11 feet over the next 30 years, these requirements of the Coastal Erosion Area Program help to promote safety and wise land use and planning.

Property owners considering a construction project along Ohio’s coast or selling coastal property are encouraged to visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Office of Coastal Management’s website at http:// or call 419-626-7980 to learn more.

Staff will assist landowners in determining if a property is within a designated coastal erosion area. The Office of Coastal Management can also guide property owners through the permitting process. Coastal property owners, local officials and anyone with questions about the finalized maps can visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources coastal erosion mapping Web page at or call the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Geological Survey at 614-265-6576.


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