For Immediate Release
July 11, 2016

‘Lake Erie Starts Here’

25th Annual Photo Contest Has New Focus on Telling the Story of the Watershed 

SANDUSKY, OH –The Ohio Lake Erie Commission announces the theme for its 25th Annual Life on Lake Erie Photo Contest, “Lake Erie Starts Here.” The goal of the new focus is to draw attention to how people’s actions in the Lake Erie watershed in Ohio are improving lake water quality. 

“Lake Erie is our mirror. What we do on the land flows downstream to the lake and is reflected in the water,” Ohio Lake Erie Commission Executive Director Karl Gebhardt said. “The land in the watershed is where Lake Erie starts. We want to hear your stories and see the pictures of what you are doing to ensure life on Lake Erie is good.” 

This year photographers are asked to submit photos or photo essays along with a few sentences of why they submitted the work. In addition to the quality of the photo, judges will consider how the photo relates to the health of Lake Erie. While short narratives will be required to enter the contest, the quality of writing will not be judged. Ohio Lake Erie Commission staff can work with interested entrants on the written narrative. 

“People often ask us what the state is doing to improve Lake Erie. We can tell that story. However, an even more important story is that of the thousands of people in the watershed who are taking action to improve Ohio’s greatest natural resource,” Gebhardt said.

Also new this year, a youth category is being introduced, open to those age 18 and under. “Lake Erie Starts Here” photo contest entrants are being accepted now through August 31, 2017. Entries and official contest rules can be found at: In addition to submitting photos to the contest, entrants are encouraged to post and share photos and narratives on their social media.

Winners will be announced in the fall at the Ohio Lake Erie Commission meeting. Questions should be directed to Sandra Kosek-Sills, Ohio Lake Erie Commission (419) 357-2775. 

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission helps preserve Lake Erie's natural resources, helps improve the quality of Lake Erie’s water and the lake ecosystem, and promotes economic development in the region. The Ohio Lake Erie Commission members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development Services, Agriculture, Natural Resources and five public members appointed by Governor John Kasich.

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For more information, contact:
Sandra Kosek-Sills, Ohio Lake Erie Commission
(419) 357-2775

Dina Pierce, Ohio EPA
(614) 644-2160

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