Preliminary Lake Erie Coastal Erosion Area Maps

In mid-January, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will mail letters to property owners along Ohio’s Lake Erie coast whose properties are located within a preliminarily-identified Coastal Erosion Area (CEA). The letters will initiate a 120-day comment period for coastal erosion maps that have been updated since the previous release in 2010.

Under Ohio’s Coastal Management law, ODNR is required to measure coastal erosion rates along the state’s Lake Erie shore. A CEA is a designated area of land predicted to erode within a 30-year period if erosion control measures are not completed. Ohio law defines a CEA as beginning at the shoreline and extending landward a specific distance based upon the rate of erosion along that stretch of bluff, bank or beach ridge. Based on the updated maps, the length of shoreline designated within a CEA will decrease from 12 percent in the 2010 mapping to approximately 6 percent in the 2018 mapping.

All 2010 CEA designations and maps will remain in effect and be enforced for construction and property sale purposes until the preliminary maps are finalized. Following the procedures outlined in Ohio Revised Code 1506.06, the 2018 maps are expected to be finalized in December.

The objective of the CEA program is to identify the hazards and mitigate the economic losses of erosion-related damage. Property owners considering a construction project on Ohio’s coast, or interested in selling property, may visit the ODNR Office of Coastal Management’s website at or call 419-626-7980 to learn more. Staff will assist landowners in determining if a property is within a preliminarily designated 2018 CEA. The ODNR Office of Coastal Management can also guide property owners through the permitting process.

Shore property owners, municipalities, counties and townships who have questions about the 2018 preliminary CEA maps can visit the ODNR Division of Geological Survey website at or call 614-265-6576 for more information.

ODNR is developing fact sheets and a website dedicated to the 2018 CEA program. Additionally, public hearings to present the preliminary 2018 CEA maps will be held at various locations in Ohio’s eight coastal counties. These meetings will be announced later in January when the preliminary CEA designations are released.