Port Clinton resident Brian Sims won the judges’ praise and received the overall favorite award in this year’s “Life on Lake Erie” photo contest for his image entitled, “Lightning Strikes” taken along the Lake Erie shoreline. Sims was recognized along with eight other winners as top photos by the members of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) at their Sept. 19 meeting at the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton.

OLEC sponsors the contest annually and encourages camera aficionados to submit photos that convey the “Life on Lake Erie” message as they enjoy Ohio’s Great Lake year-round.

This year’s photo contest winners are from all along the Lake Erie shoreline from Toledo to Conneaut. The winning photos can be found on OLEC’s website, www.lakeerie.ohio.gov/, as well as on their Facebook page.

The photo contest, which drew more than 100 entries this year, is aimed at capturing the day-to-day lives of people, plants and animals that live and thrive in the Lake Erie watershed. Winning photos are featured in OLEC’s traveling Lake Erie Photo Gallery that will be exhibited at destinations along the shoreline in the coming months.

OLEC is pleased to honor the other photo winners, including:

  • Hazel Bonnough of Curtice for her pictured entitled “American Beauty” of a bald eagle in Ottawa County.
  • Patricia Healey of Toledo for her picture entitled “Erie’s Power” taken at Edgewater Park, Cleveland.
  • JM Rozanski of Toledo for her pictured entitled “Great Egrets” taken at Sidecut Metropark, Maumee.
  • Jackie Harvey of Andover for her picture entitled “Loving the View” taken at Lakeshore Park.
  • Steven Gratz of Lima for his picture entitled “Sudden Storm” taken at Sheldon Marsh in Huron Township.
  • Brian Sims of Port Clinton for his picture entitled “Resting Sails” taken on the shores of Lake Erie.
  • Jay Brewster of Ottawa Hills for his picture entitled “Kayaking in Lotus” taken in Port Clinton near the bridge on the Portage River.
  • Rachael Sparks of Norwalk for her picture entitled “Peaceful Dock” taken at Behula Beach in Vermilion.
  • Martha Gillespie of Conneaut for her picture entitled “Sunrise at the Coal Dock” taken in Ashtabula.

OLEC was created to preserve Lake Erie’s natural resources, enhance its water quality and promote economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) serves as the commission’s chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development, Agriculture and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

OLEC also oversees the Ohio Lake Erie Protection Fund, which is the source of grant money for projects that benefit the lake’s watershed economically and environmentally. The fund is supported by Ohioans who purchase a Lake Erie license plate displaying the Marblehead Lighthouse or Toledo Harbor Lighthouse designed by Ohio artist Ben Richmond.

Logo courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources/OLEC

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