AU Environmental Lecture to Focus on ‘Management and Conservation of Ohio’s Coastal Wetlands’

AU Environmental Lecture to Focus on ‘Management and Conservation of Ohio’s Coastal Wetlands’

3/12/18 ASHLAND, Ohio – The final event in the 2017-2018 Ashland University Environmental Lecture Series, with a theme of “Ohio’s North Coast,” will be a presentation by John Simpson, executive director of the Winous Point Marsh Conservancy in Port Clinton, Ohio.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held Thursday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall in the Dwight Schar College of Education. Simpson will speak on “Winous Point Marsh: Management and Conservation of Ohio’s Coastal Wetlands.”

Simpson, who oversees wetland and waterfowl research and conservation projects in southwest Lake Erie, is originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. He received both an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and graduate degree in Zoology at the University of Guelph, Ontario. Prior to Winous Point, Simpson spent several years working with Ducks Unlimited in Ontario and the U.S. on research projects looking at breeding ecology of mallards in the Great Lakes region.

Simpson will speak about the history of coastal wetlands in Ohio and the history of the Winous Point Marsh Conservancy. He also will focus on the current state of these wetlands and what we are currently doing to conserve and manage coastal wetlands within the state.

Dr. Patricia Saunders, director of the Environmental Science Program, says the goal of this year's series is to explore what is being learned about the ecosystems along Lake Erie’s coast. There are recent projects that rehabilitate or replace coastal wetlands and estuaries, as well as changing approaches to management. These improvements have many benefits.

“Historically, there was a rich complex of rivers and wetland habitats. In recent years, new projects in several regions have re-established connections between a variety of coastal ecosystems and the lake,” she said. “This series highlights projects that help Lake Erie and its coastal wetlands work better. We are more or less partnering with nature to protect water quality and wildlife. We also get the fun of learning more about these complex ecosystems.”

The Environmental Lecture Series was established at Ashland University after the Environmental Science program was implemented in 1991-92. Now in its 26th year, the lecture series was designed to support the Environmental Science program by allowing students, faculty and members of North Central Ohio communities to interact with leaders in environmental science and policy. Over the years, the lecture series has generated significant campus and community involvement and support. Current support for the lecture series is provided by a grant from the Lubrizol Foundation, the National Science Foundation, individual donations and additional support from Ashland University. Past series have been supported by AU and grants from the GTE Foundation and the Fran and Warren Rupp Foundation.

For information about the spring series events and any updates on the lecture series, visit the website at:

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.                                                                                ###