Work to reduce risk and improve safety at state-owned dams continues at nine sites around Ohio as the nation observed National Dam Safety Awareness Day on May 31, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

More dam risk reduction projects are planned over the next two years following recent approval of additional capital projects funding that becomes effective July 1. The projects generally will include dams within some of Ohios state parks and will correct deficiencies caused mainly by age, structural design and natural wear and tear.

Currently, dam safety risk-reduction construction projects are ongoing at Lake Alma, Pike Lake, Pond Lick Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Portage Lakes, Grand Lake St. Marys, Dow Lake, Jefferson Lake and Acton Lake dams.

All the dams being worked on are classified as high-hazard potential, or Class I, meaning their sudden failure poses a possible risk to property and persons downstream. This high-hazard potential classification does not reflect a dams condition or level of safety.

The dams are among 179 dams maintained by ODNR and 1,500-plus publicly and privately-owned dams that are regulated by the Ohio Dam Safety Program housed at ODNR in its Division of Soil and Water Resources.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at www.ohiodnr.gov.