Shared from the 2/27/2019 Sandusky Register eEdition

Friends of Old Woman Creek honors pair


Register file photo/JILLY BURNS

Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve celebrates National Estuaries Week on Sept. 23, 2017.


Provided photo/ROSEMARY KOVACS

The two winners of the 2019 Heroes of the Friends of Old Woman Creek award are Sue Cloak, left, and Breann Hohman.


Two environmentalists received the 2019 Heroes of the Friends of Old Woman Creek awards.

The group gave the award to Erie County watershed coordinator Breann Hohman, of Sandusky, and to Sue Cloak, of Huron. The awards were given at the group’s Feb. 9 annual meeting at Old Woman Creek.

The award honors exceptional contributions made to the Old Woman Creek watershed. Old Woman Creek is a state nature reserve and national estuary research center three miles east of Huron.

Hohman became the watershed coordinator of the Firelands Coastal Tributaries Watershed Program in 2006, supported in part by the Friends group. She has been the assistant district director of the Erie Soil and Water Conservation District since 2014. She is a member of the Sandusky Tree Commission.

According to her nominators, Bre enthusiastically and passionately spreads the word about the watershed and how to help the environment. She coordinates a stream monitoring program where volunteers sample water at a dozen or so sites once a month. In March, after interpreting the results of the samples, she presents a report card for OWC, Pipe Creek and Mills Creek at a chili dinner for volunteers.

She has started several grant projects to reduce pollutants in the area. Working with the farming community, she has been known to bury white jockey shorts in fields to help the farmer learn the health of the soil. She is involved in the Recycled Runway project, where people use recycled material to make dresses.

She was a driving force in habitat mapping at Old Woman Creek and starting a volunteer program to eradicate the invasive frogbit plant in OWC, said Dr. Dave Klarer, one of her nominators.

Sue Cloak, a board member of the Friends for 10 years, used her retail shop experience to help resurrect a nature shop at Old Woman Creek, selling nature books and other items. Her family owned and ran the Wileswood Country Store in Huron until 2001.

The OWC nature shop started out on a pushcart and evolved into a room, said Barbara Berg, her nominator. The shop is now located near the front desk and is handled by volunteers.

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