Cleveland's Dike 14 on Lake Erie will remain a migratory bird haven, at least for now. Environmental groups were concerned that the makeshift wildlife sanctuary would be covered in sludge. 90.3's Janet Babin reports.
Janet Babin- Dike 14 is about 4 miles from downtown Cleveland. It was built in the late 1970's as a confined disposal facility for dredged material from the Cuyahoga River. Over the years, migratory birds stopped over on property to rest, because of its location next to Lake Erie.
The League of Women Voters Environmental Committee calls Dike 14 the only significant wildlife habitat along 80 miles of highly urbanized Lake Erie Shoreline between Huron and Mentor. The National Audubon Society has designated Dike 14 as an "Important Bird Area."
In 1999, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed the 88-acre site next to Gordon Park. But fresh sludge was almost dumped on the Dike this month.
LTV Steel needs a place to put 30,000 cubic feet of dredged material, and it was close to ending up at Dike 14, because the Army Corps of Engineers hadn't opened another Dike nearby -- but Senator George Voinovich stepped in.
George Voinovich- What LTV wanted was permission to use the dike that the Army Corps of Engineers uses and we were able to get that done. We expedited it, and (the Army Secretary) agreed to accept the dredged material so we could keep the dock open and help preserve future park land.
JB- Barbara Martin with the The League of Women Voters of Ohio says the League's Environmental Committee is pleased with the Senator's contribution.
Barbara Martin- I know people wrote letters and emails to contact the Senator to indicate the importance of protecting Dike 14 and we're very happy that he was successful.
JB- The group hopes Dike 14 will be saved as a bird sanctuary. The League is calling for a public planning process with public review to determine highest and best use of the land. Senator Voinovich says any additional dredge placement requests will have to go through a similar process. In Cleveland, Janet Babin, 90.3 WCPN.