A beach near Port Clinton used to be the talk of the town in the early 50s, but has fallen on hard times since then. One local group hopes to turn the tide and bring it back to life.
James Canterbury has this EcoTrack 11 report.
The beach at East Harbor State Park used to rival anything in North Carolina or Florida. Now a two-mile section of the beach has seen better days. The sand washed away after a 1972 storm. Dick Taylor once visited this beach as a kid and is saddened to see it looking this way 35 years later.
Taylor is the director of East Harbor Beach Aid. "There was up to 30,000 people a day used this beach when it was it's full size back in the late 50s and early 60s," he says, "We think that that can happen again."
So he started East Harbor Beach Aid, a non-profit group dedicated to the restoration of the beach. Taylor tells News 11, "What we'd like to see is an effort to bring it back with a natural dune that protects that shoreline rather than a concrete reventment with no visible breakwaters offshore."
Summer fun is not the only motivation. Local wildlife has been impacted. Turtles can't nest without beach sand. Taylor explains, "The other thing that's missing is shore birds that nest in the dune grasses that were there when we bought the property. The shallow graduated waters off that nearshore area produced a warm water effect that is good nurserys for our freshwater fish species."
The local economy could sure use the boost in tourism. Jackie Bieberich is general manager of Crow's Nest Restaurant. "That would obviously help everyone from the little hotels to the big restaurants, shopping...basically everything...grocery stores, you name it. We all depend on tourism."
The state has given some of the money needed for environmental and engineering studies, but results are still a few years away. Dick hopes that local support will urge law makers to give the beach higher priority when more money becomes available.