Lake Erie is our special asset. Its scale dwarfs any other natural or man-made feature in our region and creates an attraction that has been under appreciated in our region's development. Historically, the bluffs that line its southern shore have served as a barrier to access and still pose an obstacle for integrating the lakefront into the rest of the city. The confluence of the Cuyahoga River and the lake provides the most natural way for accessing the lakefront.

Although it has been dramatically altered during the past 170 years, Whiskey Island, a peninsula anchoring the western section of the Lakefront District, includes one of the last natural shorelines in the heart of the city. Over the decades, filling along the lakeshore has created additional land at the lake level, although public access to the water's edge is limited and the design of the fill areas has not incorporated elements that sustain the shoreline's natural functions.