Great Lakes
Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study proposed design. Contributed

OH - Cleveland's East Side shoreline expansion project awarded nearly $1 million

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's National Coastal Resilience Fund awarded $985,000 for the continued design and engineering of the Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study, or CHEERS project, located on Cleveland's East Side.

The funds are part of a total of $1.97 million in design and engineering funds dedicated to the first phase of the transformative shoreline project intended to create a more naturalized shoreline of parks and habitat while also mitigating erosion and creating a sheltered embayment allowing visitors to safely access Lake Erie.

"We're thrilled by the support to advance the transformative CHEERS project that will protect and enhance Cleveland's East Side lakefront," said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman in a statement about the award. "This project will create a resilient shoreline, improve quality of water and habitat, and eliminate barriers that have long separated Cleveland's East Side communities from the lakefront."

Matching funds and design input for the project come from six partners including the Metroparks, the city of Cleveland, the Port of Cleveland, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Black Environmental Leaders Association.

The plan, developed in part with the feedback of more than 1,500 community members and stakeholders, will use dredged material from the Cuyahoga River to create acres of additional shoreline property spanning from the East 55th Street Marina and Gordon Park.

The newly formed shoreline plan includes play spaces, amenities, trails, picnic lawns, fishing areas, habitats and overlooks, and is connected to a newly created a 36-acre isle north of the marina and the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, which was once landfill.

The Cleveland City Planning Commission in October approved the plan to use dredged material from the Cuyahoga River. The total cost for the project is estimated to be around $300 million.

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