(A) The department of natural resources is hereby designated the lead agency for the development and implementation of a coastal management program. The director of natural resources:
(1) Shall develop and adopt the coastal management program document. The director shall cooperate and coordinate with other agencies of the state and its political subdivisions in the development of the document. Before adopting the document, the director shall hold four public hearings on it in the coastal area, and may hold additional public meetings, to give the public the opportunity to make comments and recommendations concerning its terms. The director shall consider the public comments and recommendations before adopting the document. The director may amend the coastal management program document, provided that, prior to making changes in it, the director notifies by mail those persons who submitted comments and recommendations concerning the original document and appropriate agencies of the state and its political subdivisions. The director may hold at least one public hearing on the proposed changes.
(2) Shall administer the coastal management program in accordance with the coastal management program document, this chapter, and rules adopted under it;
(3) Shall adopt and may amend or rescind rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the implementation, administration, and enforcement of the coastal management program and the other provisions of this chapter. Before the adoption, amendment, or rescission of rules under division (A)(3) of this section, the director shall do all of the following:
(a) Maintain a list of interested public and private organizations and mail notice to those organizations of any proposed rule or amendment to or rescission of a rule at least thirty days before any public hearing on the proposal;
(b) Mail a copy of each proposed rule, amendment, or rescission to any person who requests a copy within five days after receipt of the request;
(c) Consult with appropriate statewide organizations and units of local government that would be affected by the proposed rule, amendment, or rescission.
Although the director is expected to discharge these duties diligently, failure to mail any notice or copy or to so consult with any person is not jurisdictional and shall not be construed to invalidate any proceeding or action of the director.
(4) Shall provide for consultation and coordination between and among state agencies, political subdivisions of the state, and interstate, regional, areawide, and federal agencies in carrying out the purposes of the coastal management program and the other provisions of this chapter;
(5) Shall, to the extent practicable and consistent with the protection of coastal area resources, coordinate the rules and policies of the department of natural resources with the rules and policies of other state and federal agencies to simplify and consolidate the regulation of activities along the Lake Erie shoreline;
(6) May, to accomplish the purposes of the coastal management program and the other provisions of this chapter, contract with any person and may accept and expend gifts, bequests, and grants of money or property from any person.
(B) Every agency of the state, upon request of the director, shall cooperate with the department of natural resources in the implementation of the coastal management program.
(C) The director shall establish a coastal management assistance grant program. Grants may be awarded from federal funds received for that purpose and from such other funds as may be provided by law to any municipal corporation, county, township, park district created under section 511.18 or 1545.04 of the Revised Code, conservancy district established under Chapter 6101. of the Revised Code, port authority, other political subdivision, state agency, educational institution, or nonprofit corporation to help implement, administer, or enforce any aspect of the coastal management program. Grants may be used for any of the following purposes:
(1) Feasibility studies and engineering reports for projects that are consistent with the policies in the coastal management program document;
(2) The protection and preservation of wetlands, beaches, fish and wildlife habitats, minerals, natural areas, prime agricultural land, endangered plant and animal species, or other significant natural coastal resources;
(3) The management of shoreline development to prevent loss of life and property in coastal flood hazard areas and coastal erosion areas, to set priorities for water-dependent energy, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and recreational uses, or to identify environmentally acceptable sites for dredge spoil disposal;
(4) Increasing public access to Lake Erie and other public places in the coastal area;
(5) The protection and preservation of historical, cultural, or aesthetic coastal resources;
(6) Improving the predictability and efficiency of governmental decision making related to coastal area management;
(7) Adopting, administering, and enforcing zoning ordinances or resolutions relating to coastal flood hazard areas or coastal erosion areas;
(8) The redevelopment of deteriorating and underutilized waterfronts and ports;
(9) Other purposes approved by the director.
Effective Date: 03-18-1999