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News Release

September 16, 2003


TOLEDO, OH -- Maumee River conservationist Susan Horvath of Toledo and the Friends of Magee Marsh volunteer group have been named recipients of the 2003 Lake Erie Awards, according to the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

The annual awards recognize one Ohio citizen and one organization for their commitment to the preservation and enhancement of Lake Erie and its coastline.

"These award recipients have contributed significantly to the restoration of Lake Erie and its tributaries," said Governor Bob Taft. "We commend their efforts in advancing the goals set forth in the Ohio Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Plan."

Horvath was nominated for the award by staff of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for her work in improving northwest Ohio streams - an ultimate benefit to Lake Erie. She joined the League of Women Voters in the early 1980s and became active in their Natural Resources Committee. As committee chairperson, she attended the first public meeting for the Maumee Remedial Action Plan and has been an active member ever since. She championed the effort to identify and remediate excessive landfills along the Ottawa River. Along with friend June Brown, Horvath became known as "the voice of the Ottawa River." She successfully advocated for monitoring wells on these landfills after they were capped in the late 1990s.

Established in 1997, the Friends of Magee Marsh is a non-profit group of about 125 volunteers who support Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area, Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station and the Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center in Ottawa County. The group works to enhance wetland habitat and improve conditions for people and wildlife along the western Lake Erie coastline.

Each year, the friends participate in Adopt-A-Waterway projects, Ohio's annual Coastweeks celebration and local beach clean-ups. They have purchased a weather station for the marsh, constructed observation areas and are in the process of completing a photo blind.

They also fund interpretive displays and educate visitors on birds that migrate through the marsh.

Established in 1995, the Lake Erie Awards honor those citizens and organizations that have worked diligently to enhance Ohio's Great Lake. In the years since, eight individuals and organizations have been recognized for their stewardship of this important natural resource. Nominating a person or organization for the award is a way of providing special appreciation to those who work to support the goals of the Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Fund.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission, based in Toledo, is comprised of the directors of the Ohio departments of transportation, development, health, agriculture, environmental protection and natural resources. The commission was created to preserve Lake Erie's natural resources, enhance its water quality and promote economic development in the region.


For additional news online, check out the ODNR Press Room at

For Further Information Contact:
Jill Woodyard, Ohio Lake Eerie Commission
(419) 245-2414
Andy Ware, ODNR Media Relations
(614) 265-6882




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