Taft was joined by April Mather, the Alliance's first Ohio Outreach coordinator, and Carol Ward, the Cleveland Lakefront State Park's naturalist.
Two groups of local beach adopters who piloted the Adopt-a-Beach program in Cleveland last year held a "beach clean-up" at Edgewater Park Friday morning.
Alliance for the Great Lakes
Today's official launch of the seven-year-old Adopt-a-Beach program in Ohio solidifies Lake Erie as the fourth of the five Great Lakes to host the initiative, which now boasts more than 7,000 volunteers in five states, Taft said.
Adopt-A-Beach 'Healthy Beaches'
Formed in 1970, the Alliance for the Great Lakes is the oldest independent citizens' organization in North America.
Its mission is to conserve and restore the world's largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife.