The Western Reserve Land Conservancy acquired the Sandbar in Sandusky Bay and intends to preserve it permanently. (Western Reserve Land Conservancy)

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is working to permanently preserve the Sandbar in Sandusky Bay, a popular spot for kiteboarding and sometimes camping.

The Conservancy in December bought the property from Bay Point Resort and Marina for more than $1 million, with plenty of help from federal and state grants.

The 68-acre, narrow peninsula extends south from Marblehead. The northern part includes forested wetlands, while the southern part of beaches, dunes and sandbar is constantly changing because of wind and waves, the Conservancy said. The Sandbar supports unique plant communities and migrating birds, including at least seven species considered of special interest or concern in Ohio.

“Nearly all of the remaining wetlands along Lake Erie’s shoreline have been extensively modified through the addition of dikes and other erosion control measures; however, the Bay Point property is unique and remains unaltered. It contains some of the last remaining, undisturbed coastal wetlands of the historic Great Black Swamp,” the Conservancy said in a news release.

The Conservancy plans to restrict access to a by-permission-only basis for research, education and other naturalist-led activities.

“The Bay Point Sandbar property is a coastal treasure that is unspoiled, unique and worthy of our protection,” U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur said in the news release.  “I congratulate Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s leadership and their tireless efforts to conserve our lands. We must continue to work together to protect Ohio’s critical natural habitats and improve Lake Erie’s water quality.” 

U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce said: “By preserving the Bay Point wetlands, we are doing more than protecting natural environments but are continuing to protect our Great Lakes. The Bay Point conservation project ensures the safety and best quality of Lake Erie, which serves as one of our main water sources for Northeast Ohio and its surrounding areas. I am thankful to Western Reserve Land Conservancy for working to protect these lands and am proud to continue supporting the Bay Point efforts.”