Stone Laboratory adds history, science to Put-in-Bay vacation


PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio — Families will have many opportunities to learn about Lake Erie research, environmental issues that affect the lake, and the history of Put-in-Bay throughout the summer, thanks to several tours and programs hosted by Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory.

Visitors can learn about the Lake Erie research under way at Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory and see Cooke Castle during a Science and History Tour offered every Wednesday, June 22 through Aug. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Guided island tour

Venturing over to Stone Lab’s Gibraltar Island, groups will take a guided tour of the island and see Perry’s Lookout, the glacial grooves, Stone Lab buildings, and the castle’s exterior.

The second part of the tour offers a close-up look at research conducted at Stone Lab.

To reach Gibraltar, visitors should meet at the Boardwalk Restaurant Harbor Taxi Landing on South Bass Island by 10:45 a.m. and catch a water taxi for a round-trip cost of $6. Tours are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, with a maximum of 75 people.

A $10 tour fee supports Stone Lab student scholarships. For an additional $10, participants can order boxed lunches to enjoy after the tour. Orders must be placed when arriving on the island.


Visitors also have the opportunity to tour the South Bass Island Lighthouse and learn about its history from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, June 20 through Aug. 16.

For $3, visitors can climb the stairs to take in a great view of Put-in-Bay from the top of the tower, which appears on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are opportunities to speak with Stone Lab staff about Gibraltar Island and pick up some Ohio Sea Grant publications.

Learn about Lake Erie

Visitors can also see displays about Ohio’s geological past and Lake Erie current ecosystem and research issues. The Aquatic Visitors Center, nearly one mile west of downtown Put-In-Bay, offers an up-close look at Lake Erie.

Families can inspect Lake Erie’s complex ecosystem through hands-on displays, observe and identify live fish in aquaria, and learn about current research. Children under 16 can fish from the pier and Saturday programs introduce kids to science.

The center is open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, June 22 through Aug. 20 and admission is free.

For more information about the Aquatic Visitors Center, visit

Guest lectures

Most Thursday evenings, from June 16 through Aug. 11, Stone Lab will host guest lectures on a variety of current research projects and Lake Erie issues. Each lecture will begin at 7:45 p.m. and last until approximately 9 p.m.

Guests are invited to take a Lake Erie Water Taxi, at their own expense, at 7:15 p.m. from the Boardwalk Restaurant dock to Gibraltar Island, where they will be given a short tour before the lecture.

“Research, education, and outreach are the cornerstones of the Ohio Sea Grant mission,” points out John Hageman, Stone Lab co-manager. “These outreach activities allow fresh research information to be translated from the investigators to the general public in layman’s terms so they can appreciate some of the efforts underway at our field station.”

To learn more about the tours or lectures, contact the Stone Lab Bayview Office at 419-285-1800 or visit

About the island

Ohio State University owns and manages Gibraltar Island and the South Bass Island Lighthouse, and operates the Aquatic Visitors Center through a partnership with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 32 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources.


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