The Marblehead lighthouse alvar.
Jason Lewis, Refuge Manager

Prior to coming to Northwest Ohio in 2011,
Lewis spent 4 years at Mingo National Wildlife
Refuge in Southeast Missouri and 9 years at Big
Oaks National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast
Indiana. He received his Bachelor's and
Master's degree from Ball State University. For
his graduate thesis, he studied the habitat
selection and productivity of the Acadian
Flycatcher in the Appalachian Mountains of
Virginia. He is an avid birdwatcher and enjoys
photography, sports, and outdoor recreation.

The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

Our Partners:
Mark Dilley  is a Professional  Wetland Scientist and
Certified Senior Ecologist (Ecological Society of
America) with over 20 years of experience in wetland
science, field biology, ecology, and environmental
studies. Mark teaches Ohio State University’s  Wetland
Ecology and Restoration course and is the co-owner of
MAD Scientist Associates with his wife, Chris.  


Sept. 30, 2016


Friday Evening- free program open to the public

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge: Conserving the Future and Connecting People to Nature.
Jason Lewis, the Refuge Manager, will present a program highlighting the refuge’s history and
management, along with our public use programs.  The National Wildlife Refuge System, a portion of
the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to
conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.  Ottawa NWR's programs are designed to bring people
and nature together.

Morning Speaker:  Mark Dilley

"Wetland Plants:Twenty to thrill, five to kill"
Aquatic and wetland emergent flora  are the under appreciated back-water cousins of Ohio's flora.  
However, their importance as host plants, food for wildlife and as bio-indicators cannot be overstated.  
Lake Erie marshes have been relegated to fraction of the original vegetation of Ohio. We'll  focus on the
plants to better understand the function of the marshes.  


Native Ohio aquatic vegetation.
Morning Speaker:  Jim McCormac

"Lake Erie: Ohio's North Coast"
To many people, Lake Erie is Ohio's greatest natural resource.  It is certainly our most conspicuous feature,
and plays an enormous role in influencing the Buckeye State's flora and fauna.  But Lake Erie is just one of five
Great Lakes which collectively form a massive ecosystem that houses 20% of all the fresh water on Plant
Earth.  That's enough water to cover the lower 48 states to a depth of 10 feet.

Although Lake Erie is the smallest of the five lakes by volume, it is probably the richest and most diverse. The
lake supports a world class fishery, is of global significance to migratory birds, and plays host to numerous rare
plants and animals.  This program will start as a water droplet, and plunge into the Great Lakes at the upper
end of Lake Superior.  We'll then take a quick and wild ride through the system and ultimately into the Atlantic
Ocean before returning to Lake Erie and what make our Great Lake so special, especially from a botanical  

Jim McCormac is considered one of Ohio's best public speakers
and an authority on Ohio's natural history.  He needs no introduction
to bird, plant, butterfly, dragonfly or lichen enthusiasts.  Jim works for
the Ohio Division of Wildlife, specializing in non game wildlife
diversity issues.  Prior to that, he was a botanist with the Ohio
Department of Natural resources.  He was the 2009 recipient of the
Ludlow Griscom award, given annually by the American Birding
Association. He writes a column, Nature, for the Columbus Dispatch,
and has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific and popular
articles in a variety of publications. He was awarded the League of
Ohio Sportsmen’s Conservation Communicator of the Year Award in

He is author of
Birds of Ohio, The Great Lakes Nature Guide and
Wild Ohio: The Best of our Natural Heritage.