6 New Year’s resolutions for Lake Erie

A rendering by SmithGroupJJR shows Euclid’s planned 3/4-mile lakefront trail. (SmithGroupJJR)

What if Lake Erie made New Year’s resolutions?

The lake we love is already great, obviously. But it could be greater with a little self-improvement.

In that vein, here are a few ideas:

1. Reduce the amount of phosphorus flowing into the lake: Reducing phosphorus — namely from fertilizer run-off into the Maumee River — would limit the growth of toxic algae, which can turn the western basin of the lake into a smelly green slick from July to September. Limiting the algae would mean less matter decomposing in the lake and therefore a smaller dead zone in the central basin.

2. Increase lake access: Everyone wants more opportunities to enjoy the water, from patio dining to fishing piers to boat ramps. In 2017, Lake Metroparks added a pier in Painesville, and a new pier is coming to Euclid Bear this year. You can learn to sail with Cleveland Metroparks and the Foundry at the restored Old Coast Guard Station or swim at Euclid Beach. Euclid’s working on a lakefront trail. And Dick Clough wants to move the Shoreway to create a big lakefront park at East 55th Street. What’s next? Who knows. But we’re all for anything that gets us on the lake.

3. Sort out safety on the Cuyahoga River: The river, with the hotspot of Flats restaurants, is a huge draw for boaters, kayakers and paddlers. But the crooked Cuyahoga is also a major shipping route for giant lakers, ships the length of the Terminal Tower, which must navigate the curves. Everyone who uses the river should learn the rules and wear a life jacket. And the Cuyahoga River Safety Task Force should figure out how and where boats can dock safely.

4. Figure out the Norfolk Southern bridge situation: While we’re at it, it’d be nice to get some sort of agreement — or at least notice — on when the Norfolk Southern railroad will raise the bridge at the mouth of the river. Long waits last summer incensed boaters and cost freighters, plus the Nautica Queen and Goodtime III cruise ships, valuable time.

5. Keep learning: Stand-up paddleboarding is the latest craze, but who knows what lake sport will go nuts next? Water skiing? Windsurfing? Parasailing? Whatever it is, we want to try it — because they’re all fun.

6. Read RocktheLake daily: Yes, a little self-serving. But that way you can pack your calendar with lakefront events, find details on the best attractions and learn everything you need to know about Lake Erie, from fishing to beach glass hunting.

Happy New Year from RocktheLake!