"When we look at the Great Lakes and we look at Lake Erie as one of those Great Lakes, Lake Erie is quite different. It's not like the other Great Lakes. It's the only lake in which the bottom does not fall below the depths of sea level. It's very shallow. It's the most southernly Great Lake, it's the warmest, it’'s the most nutrient rich but that's important because it produces the most living organisms in terms of sport fish, commercial fish and habitat. We've got many interesting circumstances because of the shallowness. It's probably the roughest lake. Storms can come up in a hurry, waves can't go through their whole cycle and begin to break, we get very stormy weather. We have erosion problems because of that, that perhaps some of the other lakes don't have. We don't have quite the sand supply that, for example, Lake Michigan has. Sand is the best natural protection for erosion. So we do have erosion problems that we've had to develop a unique capacity for addressing.
Having been on the faculty of the Ohio State University in Columbus, one of the disappointing things to me is when you move a couple counties south of the Lakeshore, Ohioans don't often think of themselves as living in a Great Lakes state. But those of us that live in the tier of counties that border Lake Erie really do appreciate the opportunities and really the treasure that we have. Comparing us with the Russians and their notion of Lake Bicol, that is their pearl, their jewel. They protect that, even with the economic development that is trying to be developed there they are very protective of that lake. We need to take a message from that protection and bring it back here and understand what a jewel we have and we need to also protect our Great Lakes."