State of the Beach/State Reports/OH/Beach Fill

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Ohio Ratings
Indicator Type Information Status
Beach Access92
Water Quality62
Beach Erosion8-
Erosion Response-4
Beach Fill4-
Shoreline Structures6 2
Beach Ecology3-
Surfing Areas23
Coastal Development{{{19}}}{{{20}}}
Sea Level Rise{{{21}}}{{{22}}}


State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs, A National Overview (NOAA, March 2000) provides the following information:

"Policy Citation and Description

Shore Erosion Statute. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1507.04. A permit is required before undertaking construction of a beach, groin, or other structure to arrest or control erosion, wave action, or inundation along the Lake Erie shoreline in Ohio.

Related Policies

Near Shore sand Mining Regulations

A permit or lease for removal of sand and gravel and other mineral resources from the bed of lake Erie is required to be obtained from the Director of the Department of Natural Resources under state statute, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1505.07.

Dredge and Fill Regulations

Dredge and fill activities are regulated through section 401 water quality standards, Ohio Admin. Code §3745-32-01, through the Permit for Removal of Substances from the Public Trust Land of Lake Erie, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1505.07,and the Submerged Lands of Lake Erie Lease regulations, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1501-6-01. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1505.01 was revised to include language authorizing the Geological Survey to manage sand and gravel and other mineral resources from and under public trust lands. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1505.071 recognizes the need to manage sand and gravel resources on public trust lands and requires a permit or lease for dredging which will not return sand and gravel to the littoral system. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1505.99 increases the fine for violating O.R.C. §1505.07 or 1505.071 and clarifies that fines collected shall be paid into the geologic mapping fund. The Ohio Coastal Management Program, in its program document policies, states that sand and gravel sized sediments should be returned to the littoral system downdrift of the point of dredging. All sand and gravel dredged from nearshore areas and from stream mouths, marina facilities and entrance channels during construction or maintenance should be returned to the nearshore zone down drift of the channel.

Sand Scraping/Dune Reshaping

Regulations for sand scraping and dune reshaping activities were not found. However, these activities if conducted for purposes of erosion control, may be regulated under the Shore Erosion permitting requirements.

Dune Creation/Restoration

Regulations for dune creation and restoration were not found. However, these activities if conducted for purposes of erosion control, may be regulated under the Shore Erosion permitting requirements.

Public Access Regulations

The legislative intent of the Natural Areas and Preserves statute states that, “ Wherever possible and consistent with such preservation and protection of the land, the articles of dedication of a natural area or preserve shall provide for public access in order that the maximum benefit be obtained for the uses and purposes stated in this section.” Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1517.05

Beach Renourishment Funding Program

The State of Ohio has a funding mechanism for erosion control projects under the Shore Erosion Law. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1507.05. The Shore Erosion law requires that the permit fees raised from granting permits for construction of beaches, groins, or other structures be administered by the Department of Natural Resources. These funds are to be used in part to fund erosion protection projects on Lake Erie shores. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §1507.05. Information on annual funding amounts was not found. Project costs are pro-rated on the basis of two-thirds the cost to the state and one-third the cost to the benefiting public agency."

In 1955, the state of Ohio began requiring permits for the construction of shore erosion, wave and flood control structures as an early effort to protect and manage Ohio's Lake Erie shore. Permits were initially issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) through its Division of Shore Erosion, then after 1961 through its Chief Engineer and then through the Division of Water. As of July 2007, Shore Structure Permits are signed by the Director of ODNR.

A Shore Structure Permit must be obtained prior to the construction of an erosion, wave or flood control structure along the Ohio shore of Lake Erie. Shore structures commonly include nourished beaches, seawalls, stone revetments, bulkheads, breakwaters, groins, docks, piers and jetties.

In an effort to update and clarify policies regarding development along Ohio’s Lake Erie coast, in 2007 the Ohio Department of Natural Resources began drafting revisions to portions of and drafting new Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) rules for Section 1501-6. The objectives for new rules are:

  • Adapt the OAC rules for submerged lands leases and submerged lands permits (OAC 1501-6-01 through 1501-6-09) to reflect Governor Strickland's policy and applicable court rulings.
  • Develop OAC rules for coastal structure permits (1501-6-31 to 1501-6-39) to provide clarification and guidance for Ohio Revised Code Section 1506.40.

Ohio Coastal Management Program Policies relevant to beach fill include:

The Office of Coastal Management, along with other Ohio Department of Natural Resources divisions and offices such as Real Estate and Land Management, Wildlife, Geological Survey, and Legislative Services, has worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to develop a Habitat Restoration Unit(s) in Maumee Bay. The Unit(s) would utilize dredged materials from the Toledo Harbor federal navigation channel and would provide for the beneficial use of the materials as coastal habitat rather than open-lake disposal of the materials, which has been the current practice. Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio EPA, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a specific project was to have been decided upon by July 31, 2008.

The Office of Coastal Management provides information on beach nourishment and dune construction. More information on beach nourishment and beach fill.


The report Summary of Beach Nourishment Activity Along the Great Lakes' Shoreline 1955-1996 lists 24 beach nourishment projects along Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline between 1977 and 1996. The report lists beach location, date, funding type, volume, length, and cost for each project.

The Fiscal Year 2017 Civil Works Budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides $4.62 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program. This budget lists proposed projects and the associated budget justification by state.

State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs: A National Overview (2000) is a report NOAA/OCRM that provides an overview of the problem of beach erosion, various means of addressing this problem, and discusses issues regarding the use of beach nourishment. Section 2 of the report provides an overview of state, territorial, and commonwealth coastal management policies regarding beach nourishment and attendant funding programs. Appendix B provides individual summaries of 33 beach nourishment programs and policies.

State of the Beach Report: Ohio
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