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For Immediate Release
October 7, 2014

Four Photographs Chosen as Overall Judges’ Favorites in 2014 ‘Life on Lake Erie’ Photo Contest

Four diverse photographs won the judges’ compliments as the overall favorites in the 2014 Life on Lake Erie photo contest. Each photographer was recognized, along with seven other winning photos, by the members of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission at their Sept. 25 meeting at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Oak Harbor. This year’s photo contest winners are from all along the Lake Erie shoreline from Toledo to Conneaut and as far south as Vandalia. The winning photos can be found on OLEC’s website,

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) sponsors the contest annually and encourages amateur photographers to reveal their passion for one of Ohio’s most valuable and dynamic natural features, Lake Erie. A new category was added to celebrate the unique winter of 2014.

The photo contest aims to convey the “Life on Lake Erie” message by capturing the day-to-day lives of the 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. Photos also may be featured in various state publications, promotional materials and through OLEC social media outlets, including Facebook:, and Twitter: @OhioLakeErie.

OLEC is pleased to honor the photo winners:

Overall Judges’ Favorites
  • Kim Yanke of Huron, for “Pure Joy” taken at Ruggles Beach.
  • Valerie Giovannuci, Maumee, for “Serenity on Metzger’s Marsh Channel” taken at Metzger’s Marsh.
  • Tom Greene, Vandalia, for “All Hands on Deck” taken on the Niagara while docked at Put-in-Bay.
  • Bailey VanKirk, Marblehead, for “Lake Erie Shove” taken at the Marblehead Lighthouse, Marblehead.
Additional Winners
  • Stephanie Weeks, Port Clinton, for “Cardinal in the Snow” taken in Port Clinton.
  • Bruce Bennett, Chardon, for “Rubber Duck in Peril” taken at Lake Erie Bluffs Park, Perry.
  • Andrea Nagy, Avon, for “Catfish” taken at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Oak Harbor.
  • Pat Healey, Toledo, for “Blackpoll Warbler” taken at Magee Marsh, Oak Harbor.
  • Lou McLove, Toledo, for “What Are You Looking At?” taken in Toledo.
  • Richard McBride, Conneaut, for “Winter Train Over Conneaut Creek” taken at Conneaut Creek Bridge, Conneaut.
  • Chad Whaley, Sandusky, for “Fortress of Solitude” taken at Marblehead Lighthouse, Marblehead.

OLEC also administers Ohio’s Lake Erie Protection Fund, which was established to finance research and implementation projects aimed at protecting, preserving and restoring Lake Erie and its watershed. Grant projects have focused on an array of issues critical to the effective management of Lake Erie. The Fund is supported through tax-deductible donation and through the purchase of a Lake Erie license plate displaying the Marblehead Lighthouse by Ohio artist Ben Richmond, or the Lake Erie life preserver.

OLEC was established for the purpose of preserving Lake Erie's natural resources, protecting the quality of its waters and ecosystem and promotingeconomic development in the region. The director of Ohio EPA serves as the commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development Services, Agriculture, Natural Resources and five additional members appointed by Governor John Kasich.

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Editor's Note:  Digital images of the winning photographs from the 2014 "Life on Lake Erie" photo contest are available on OLEC's Facebook page, at and here.

For more information, contact:
Gail Hesse, Ohio Lake Erie Commission
(419) 621-2040

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