H2Ohio to spend $5 million to boost local wetlands

Sep 9, 2020 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Federal, state and local funding for native wetlands has been critical for the creation, restoration and enhancement of wetlands all around northwest Ohio. This project along the Port Clinton shoreline is eliminating invasive species, such as phragmites, and replacing it with native wetlands vegetation. (Photo by Kathy Jo Schweitzer)

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is partnering with the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) to strengthen the impact of the H2Ohio water quality initiative. OWDA has approved $5 million to fund additional wetlands efforts in ODNR’s H2Ohio program.

“This partnership will help us magnify H2Ohio’s impact as we work to ensure safe and clean water in Ohio,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “The funds will be used specifically to help ODNR naturally reduce nutrient runoff and prevent algal blooms over the long term.”

ODNR’s H2Ohio projects create, restore, and enhance wetlands to filter water and reduce the phosphorus and nitrogen that feed harmful algal blooms and fuel hypoxia. The funding from OWDA will focus on:

  • Advancing high-priority Maumee River and Western Lake Erie Basin H2Ohio projects including:
    • Maumee River floodplain and wetland restoration
    • Wetland enhancements and reconnections on Muddy Creek, a tributary to Sandusky Bay
    • Marsh restoration in the Blanchard River watershed
  • Expanding ODNR’s statewide project focus through:
    • Wetland and stream restoration at Chippewa Lake
    • Floodplain wetland restoration along the Great Miami River
    • A wetland treatment train at Delaware Lake

The funds will also help extend H2Ohio’s wetland monitoring program.

“We are proud to have the backing from OWDA,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Continued investment in H2Ohio will allow the state to build on the program’s strong foundation leading to improved water quality and public health, job creation, and a sustainable economy.”

Launched by DeWine in 2019, H2Ohio is a collaborative water quality effort to provide clean and safe water to Ohio. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency each has a significant role in H2Ohio through the natural infrastructure of wetlands, the reduction in nutrient runoff, and increasing access to clean drinking water and quality sewer systems.

To learn more, go to h2.ohio.gov.

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