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DeWine celebrates Lake Erie as major tourist attraction, talks algal blooms during Toledo visit

DeWine said there's no part of the state where tourism has more of an economic impact than the north coast.

TOLEDO, Ohio —  

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made a stop in Toledo Wednesday, highlighting all the sights of the region on Ohio Tourism Day. 

DeWine specifically cited Lake Erie as a huge attraction for tourists, saying there's no part of the state where tourism has more of an economic impact than our north coast.

With fishing, sailing and people just getting outdoors, Lake Erie brings in tons of tourists every year.

DeWine spoke at the Museum of Great Lakes, where he and his team launched H2Ohio back in 2019. It's an initiative to address serious water issues in Ohio, including harmful algal blooms on Lake Erie caused by phosphorus runoff from farm fertilizer.

When the pandemic hit, DeWine's team was worried they weren't going to be able to keep it running. However, DeWine said the mission was a priority.

"We are going to keep our commitment to those farmers, they said they would follow these basic practices and because they were going to follow these basic practices, we are going to help them financially," he said.

DeWine also talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact tourism, noting we now have a "lifesaver."

As of Wednesday, more than 50% of adults in Ohio have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

DeWine said that within a few days, the vaccine will likely open up to those 12 and older. He's working with local health departments and schools to make getting the vaccine out to those who want it more convenient. 

Although there are more than 2,000 vaccine sites throughout the state, some of those eligible still aren't going. DeWine said that vaccine incentives in Ohio aren't off the table.

"It is our ticket back; and it's not just the ticket back for individuals, it's the ticket back for society, the state of Ohio," he said Wednesday.

DeWine said that he expects the vaccine to open to every Ohioan by the fall.

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