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Lake Erie Restoration and Environmental Issues

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I can't remember if I started a thread for this (please feel free to merge if I did), but I think it's of utmost importance that Lake Erie's environmental issues stay up front and center right now with all the toxic algae, loss of marshland, loss of beaches, etc.

 

Ohio has a potentially great tourism asset on its hands, and with the political willpower, Lake Erie could be great again. Lake Erie also has the warmest water of the Great Lakes (can hit 80 in the summer, which to put in perspective is much warmer than anything in southern California), and though it lacks the dramatic coastlines of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron, that 5-10 degree difference in water temperature does make for a lengthened swimming season.

 

A long-standing issue in Northwest Ohio is restoring East Harbor's once massive beach (historically Ohio's largest):

 

Findlay man spearheads mission to revive long-lost Lake Erie beach

Published: Sunday, 5/11/2014 - Updated: 1 day ago

BY TOM HENRY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

MARBLEHEAD — Ohio’s best beach is, sadly, the one etched in distant memories of a past generation.

 

“I’ve seen people literally break down and cry when they think of what the beach at East Harbor State Park used to be and what’s not there now for their grandkids,” said Dick Taylor, who used to frequent the beach as a child.

 

Now a Findlay resident, Mr. Taylor is founder and president of a nonprofit group called BeachAid-East Harbor. He has tried for more than a decade to convince state officials that the park’s shoreline needs to be re-engineered to give the once-massive beach there a fighting chance at a comeback.

 

But he’s had little to show for his efforts — and faces an uphill battle with state officials, despite $88.5 million being made available for state park improvements over the next two years.

 

Huge slabs of concrete form a man-made breakwall, also known as a revetment or seawall, along East Harbor State Park’s southeastern peninsula.

 

They stand in place of where a Floridalike beach more than 2.5 miles long once drew 30,000 visitors a weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day — so popular there were long traffic jams and 200 or more families would be turned away on a given day.

 

All that remains now is a 1,500-foot strip on the north end, an auxiliary beach that is barely a tenth of what East Harbor once had.

 

Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/05/11/Findlay-man-spearheads-mission-to-revive-long-lost-Lake-Erie-beach.html#A7TM2ix4lyHH5yrI.99

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Great idea C-Dawg! Lake Erie is nowhere near the magnet that it can be.

 

Huge slabs of concrete form a man-made breakwall, also known as a revetment or seawall, along East Harbor State Park’s southeastern peninsula.

 

Right there is a huge reason why our coastline is sub par; the all-out war on erosion has left the waterside looking just awful. The "hardening" of the coast represents years of bad policy and misguided effort. It's so worthwhile to set good practical measures in place asap to reclaim what's been lost - beaches and wetlands - even if it takes generations to remedy. 

 

 

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If the state or whomever is dead set on barriers, why not make barrier islands in the lake? A huge part of getting people to care more about lake Erie is to actually get people on the beach and in the water.

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They are doing something like that in Toronto. I wouldn't recommend normally, but in areas where the lakefront has been so extremely altered (ie Burke Lakefront, and most of downtown) I think you have a good idea.

 

I am guessing that type of infrastructural improvement cost is very high.

 

If the state or whomever is dead set on barriers, why not make barrier islands in the lake? A huge part of getting people to care more about lake Erie is to actually get people on the beach and in the water.

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Unbelievable. I can tell you that we covered this story heavily in Toledo news media, but it fell on deaf ears for years. Now that it's a national embarrassment for the state of Ohio, hopefully real action is taken to reduce the pollution in Lake Erie.

 

Water alert affects more than 400,000 in Toledo, Ohio

By Susanna Capelouto, CNN

updated 3:25 PM EDT, Sat August 2, 2014

 

(CNN) -- Don't use, drink, cook with, or even boil any of the water in Toledo, Ohio. Restaurants should close up for the day.

 

That's the message from officials after two samples from a water treatment plant showed readings for microcystin, a toxin that is released by algae blooms.

More than 400,000 people in the Toledo area are affected by the water warning, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich issued a state of emergency for Lucas and Wood counties and other parts of Northwest Ohio. The National Guard is scheduled to set up water stations around town, according to CNN affiliate WTOL.

 

City officials say the alert is a precaution as they expect more detailed test results by Saturday evening.

"We hope the tests come back and that we are not in the dire strait we fear we might be in," said Toledo Mayor Michael Collins. "We are erring on the side of caution."

 

CONTINUED

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/02/us/toledo-water-warning/index.html

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This ain't photoshop. This is a real photo of Lake Erie back in the summer of 2010. It looked like something in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze

 

oFuQNJ.jpg

 

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I grew up on Grand Lake in west central Ohio.  Celina (my hometown) gets our drinking water from the lake and a fair portion of the economy is summer tourism.  Ever since the algae blooms took over the lake ~5 years ago, the city has felt devastating effects.  There are very few people coming to visit the lake from the Dayton, Lima, & Ft Wayne areas anymore.  Although there have never been any advisories for drinking water, very few people trust it.  I've seen the negative effects this algae can have on a small community.  So far nothing significant has been done to improve Lake Erie as this algae seems to spread.  The long term effects could be devastating to all of Ohio (especially northern Ohio). 

 

There are 2 things that make this very scary: 1) the state & national government have paid very little attention to this.  2) the only solution they have come up with (with little to no results) on Grand Lake is to dredge some muck out of the lake and tell farmers to use less fertilizer/manure on their crops.

 

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Published: Tuesday, 8/19/2014 - Updated: 2 minutes ago

Government announces $2M grant to farmers in western Lake Erie to reduce fertilizer runoff

BLADE STAFF

 

The federal government will offer farmers in 20 counties in the western Lake Erie watershed money to plant winter crops to reduce fertilizer runoff.

 

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and U.S Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) announced the $2 million grant today on the banks of the Maumee River next to the National Museum of the Great Lakes. The federal emergency funds would be distributed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

 

The money is aimed at averting future algae blooms like the one that overwhelmed Toledo‘‍s water treatment plant Aug. 2 - 4.

 

Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/business/2014/08/19/Government-announces-2M-grant-to-farmers-in-western-Lake-Erie-to-reduce-fertilizer-runoff.html#aV0F5rjzI9O3o0My.99

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I hate this, but it's the unfortunate truth.

 

Downstream from Akron, rivers fill with trash and toilet paper

By John Harper, Northeast Ohio Media Group

 

AKRON, Ohio -- Near the trailhead to the towpath at Mustill Store, three bodies of water converge and with them, sewage and storm water runoff from nearly 200,000 residents.

 

Where the Ohio Erie Canal meets the Little Cuyahoga and Cuyahoga rivers, Steve Postma pulls a neon green bucket out of the water.

 

On a sunny Saturday afternoon the water was an opaque brown color, with spare patches of white foam emanating from a small waterfall. However, a quick pan over to the shoreline reveals a much different river than the one Postma was sampling that day.

 

"Anything and everything that ends up in the streets or in the sewers ends up right here," said Jessica Ferrato, who oversees the entire Lake Erie watershed on behalf of the Sierra Club.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/akron/index.ssf/2014/08/downstream_from_akron_rivers_f.html#incart_river

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I was just listening to Cleveland Approach ATC feed and there is a Coast Guard aircraft investigating an oil spill.    They are having trouble locating anything with fog--hope it's not serious.

 

 

**Update:  they are reporting 1,000 gallons, in the harbor.

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Ohio factory farms produce as much sewage as 33 million people. The state must act to regulate the industry.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Opinion/2015/08/09/Growth-of-Ohio-s-factory-farms-makes-curbs-on-water-pollution-more-urgent.html


"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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Worth watching/hearing. Focuses on the Great Lakes region...

 

TEDxMillCity - Philip Enquist - Imagine There Are No Borders


"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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So gross....

 

NBC 24 ‏@nbc24wnwo  52s52 seconds ago View translation

NOAA: 2015 Lake Erie algae bloom largest on record.

http://bddy.me/1RMhzNq 

 

CTe4U-QXAAADdzS.jpg:large


"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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Hoping to Lead Great Lakes Lampreys to Demise by the Nose

By RACHEL NUWERFEB. 8, 2016

 

For all the havoc that zebra mussels, Asian carp, round gobies and dozens of other alien species have wrought on the Great Lakes, those waters have never known a foe like the sea lamprey. The vampirelike parasites cost many millions each year in depleted fisheries and eradication efforts.

 

Wildlife managers have long used lampricide — the lamprey version of pesticide — with mixed results. Now, an innovative control program seeks to improve on that method by using pheromones to trick the bloodsuckers into voluntarily corralling themselves in designated areas, to then be trapped or poisoned. But achieving this depends on cracking the fish’s olfactory language.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/09/science/hoping-to-lead-great-lakes-lampreys-to-demise-by-the-nose.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience&action=click&contentCollection=science&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront

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Thirsty cities begin to eye water from the Great Lakes

By Josephine Marcotty

 

MINNEAPOLIS Nearly a decade ago, eight governors shook hands on an extraordinary agreement to erect a legal wall around the largest source of fresh water on Earth — the Great Lakes.

 

The unusual bipartisan compact, signed by the heads of the states that border the massive basin, aimed to keep the increasingly valuable water right where it is for the 40 million people who rely on it for their jobs, their homes and their vacations.

 

Now they face the first test.

 

Waukesha, Wis., a suburb of Milwaukee, has asked for the right to pull drinking water from Lake Michigan. In coming weeks or months the current eight governors, will have to make a critical decision on how to share — or not — one-fifth of the world's fresh water. The question arises against a backdrop of increasing national conflicts over water and growing concerns about the way pollution and climate change are threatening the world's water supply.

 

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6505024-thirsty-cities-begin-to-eye-water-from-the-great-lakes/

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H.R. 861, The Bill that Would Terminate the EPA

 

But perhaps most startling, said keynote speaker Dr. Jeff Reutter, special advisor for the Ohio Sea Grant program, is the threat to the future of Lake Erie from the potential dissolution of the agency that watches over the U.S. environment and creates regulations to protect it.

 

The bill, called H.R. 861, introduced to the 115th Congress by Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz on February 3, 2017, calls for the termination of the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Dr. Reutter said, “If we lose the EPA, we lose Lake Erie”.

 

http://www.greatlakesnow.org/2017/02/great-lakes-scientist-says-if-we-lose-the-epa-we-lose-lake-erie/

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"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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Meanwhile, residents of Sheffield Lake and Avon Lake are complaining about dead fish in Lake Erie. Red vote = green lake. Here's a precinct map of how the complainants voted. If you want a blue lake, vote blue...

 

DEAWKljXsAA2DwH.jpg

 

 

Lakeside, the historic resort on Lake Erie, adds a swimming pool in response to lake algae problems (photos)

Updated on July 5, 2017 at 12:14 PM Posted on July 5, 2017 at 6:03 AM

BY SUSAN GLASER, THE PLAIN DEALER sglaser@plaind.com

 

LAKESIDE, Ohio - For more than a century, visitors to the scenic vacation community of Lakeside, about 75 miles west of Cleveland, have enjoyed swimming in Lake Erie.

 

Starting this month, visitors have another swimming alternative: Lakeside has added a pool, a response to water-quality issues that have plagued the lake in recent years, primarily toxic algal blooms that occasionally close the lakefront to swimmers and boaters.

 

Kevin Sibbring, the president and CEO of Lakeside Chautauqua, said there were some traditionalists at Lakeside who were opposed to the pool, primarily because they feared it represented a symbolic shift away from the lake for the community, founded in 1873.

 

MORE:

http://www.cleveland.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/07/lakeside_the_historic_resort_o.html#incart_river_home_pop

 

 


"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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If the lake is a jewel then it must be an emerald cuz it's green.......

 

Gov. Kasich signs bill to protect Lake Erie

POSTED 10:48 AM, JULY 25, 2017, BY JEN STEER, UPDATED AT 11:18AM, JULY 25, 2017

 

CLEVELAND– Ohio Gov. John Kasich was in Cleveland on Tuesday to sign a bill to protect the health of Lake Erie.

 

The news conference was held at the Great Lakes Science Center. Kasich was joined by Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Craig Butler and Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority President and CEO Will Friedman.

 

“We’re paying for the sins of the past whenever we look at this lake,” Kasich said. “The efforts we put into this lake are paying off.” He called Lake Erie the crowd jewel of the state.

 

MORE:

http://fox8.com/2017/07/25/live-video-gov-kasich-signs-bill-to-protect-lake-erie/


"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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This is why I don't go to the Lake Erie Islands after July 4. It's disgusting...

 

@JeffReutter

This is unacceptable!  Lake Erie should never look like this. Bad for ecosystem, human health, and the economy!

 

DKzyM_PWAAAs9gW.jpg:large

  • Sad 1

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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A long read, but very interesting article posted to Cleveland Scene about the history of the Asian carp and where we currently stand. It's reprinted from the book The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. The snippet below is the beginning where it details what they believe is the first major release of carp into the wild.

 

https://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/exotic-fish-are-poised-to-infiltrate-the-great-lakes-whats-at-stake-and-what-can-be-done-to-stop-them/Content?oid=10788502

 

Exotic Fish are Poised to Infiltrate the Great Lakes. What's at Stake? And What Can Be Done to Stop Them?

 

Reprinted from The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan. Copyright 2017 by Dan Egan. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. All rights reserved.

 

On a brisk November day in 1963, a station wagon pulled up to the brown brick federal research lab in eastern Arkansas loaded with a radical new weed killer. In the wake of the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring the previous fall, there was an increasing awareness of the potential perils of all the herbicides and pesticides flowing in our rivers, across our croplands and orchards, down our grocery aisles, onto our dinner tables, into our bloodstreams. Poisoning rivers to get rid of nuisance fish was particularly in vogue at the time, including the Russian River in northern California and Utah's Green River, and a clamor was growing for a smarter, gentler approach to combating unwanted creatures and vegetation. So researchers at the U.S. Department of Interior's Fish Farming Experimental Laboratory, located in the heart of Arkansas catfish farming country, were taking delivery of what they hoped would be a new generation of nontoxic aquatic weed-control agents.

...

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Lake Erie paddlers form Northern Ohio Surfrider Foundation to clean lakes, rivers

By Laura Johnston, cleveland.com

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Ohio now has its own chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a Malibu-founded organization working to protect rivers, lakes and oceans.

The Northern Ohio chapter formed in April and is still "finding its sea legs," said chair Christy Gray. It will roll out its big initiative at a meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at Saucy Brew Works, 2885 Detroit Ave.

 

So far, Surfrider has hosted beach clean-ups and a Cuyahoga River clean-up with the Port of Cleveland's Flotsam and Jetsam boats, before the big Head of the Cuyahoga regatta. "Now we're trying to figure out how to find a place in this environment," said Gray, a stand-up paddler.

 

https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/10/lake_erie_paddlers_form_northe.html

 

 

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https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2018/11/28/ohio-lawmakers-want-stop-cities-hiking-prices-plastic-bags/2126253002/

 

Ohio lawmakers are trying to infringe on cities and townships that may want to add a plastic bag fee in the future.  To date, there is no local law charging extra for plastic bag use.


Very Stable Genius

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3 hours ago, DarkandStormy said:

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2018/11/28/ohio-lawmakers-want-stop-cities-hiking-prices-plastic-bags/2126253002/

 

Ohio lawmakers are trying to infringe on cities and townships that may want to add a plastic bag fee in the future.  To date, there is no local law charging extra for plastic bag use.

I'm sure there are a few lobbyists paying for this....

 

I wish Ohio would enact a bag fee, as well as beverage bottle and can deposits.

  • Like 1

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I feel really bad for the State of Ohio. Becoming so irrelevant as a state nationally. They are tying the hands of its cities in so many ways. The cities are the only thing progressive about the state...and they are pushed down and underfunded. end of rant

 

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12 hours ago, metrocity said:

I feel really bad for the State of Ohio. Becoming so irrelevant as a state nationally. They are tying the hands of its cities in so many ways. The cities are the only thing progressive about the state...and they are pushed down and underfunded. end of rant

 

Please don't end your rant.....we need more to keep ranting!

 

I am interested in what percentage of Ohio residents live in urban, suburban and rural areas.   Sadly many of the suburban residents vote with the rural interests due to social issues. 

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15 hours ago, Cleburger said:

I'm sure there are a few lobbyists paying for this....

 

I wish Ohio would enact a bag fee, as well as beverage bottle and can deposits.

 

Are you saying Republicans are for "limited government" unless said government isn't doing (or not doing) exactly what they want?

 

At least in positive news, Kroger is committing to eliminating plastic bags by 2025.  Even the Republicans can't force them to not make that decision.

 

As the Cincinnati.com story notes, only two cities in Ohio have even considered a plastic bag fee.  I mean, for all the issues Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River have had, you'd think we should let them implement a $0.05 or $0.10 fee on plastic bags if those cities and towns think it will help with the pollution.

Edited by DarkandStormy

Very Stable Genius

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18 minutes ago, DarkandStormy said:

Are you saying Republicans are for "limited government" unless said government isn't doing (or not doing) exactly what they want?

 

Republicans are for "limited government", unless a lobbyist pays them enough and writes the new regulations for them. 

  • Like 1

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I was glad Rep. Stephanie Howse called them on it 

 

“It’s amazing how this body selectively makes decisions on when we want to have local control versus when we don’t,”

 

I’m sure this went in one ear and out the other though.

Edited by Enginerd
Stupid autocorrect

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I’m not even sure how this is legal.  As the articles have mentioned, it violates local rule.  What if the state decided cities couldn’t collect taxes or build bike lanes?  How would this be any different?  

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2 hours ago, jonoh81 said:

I’m not even sure how this is legal.  As the articles have mentioned, it violates local rule.  What if the state decided cities couldn’t collect taxes or build bike lanes?  How would this be any different?  

 

I mean...Texas passed a law that cities in their state had to comply with 287(g).  It was more or less upheld - https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/texas-cities-exploring-creative-ways-to-protect-residents-from-deportation


Very Stable Genius

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"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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Living close to fresh water doesn't necessarily mean having access to it. Why is this even an issue in a supposedly first-world country?

 

 


"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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Toledo voters give full rights to Lake Erie. So farmers decide to declare themselves an enemy of a clean lake.....

 


"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" -- Lady Liberty

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