COLUMBUS, Ohio – As a part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has started work on two new wetland projects in northwest Ohio.
“These new H2Ohio wetlands projects are two of more than 80 underway or already complete in Ohio thanks to the work of ODNR and our local partners,” Governor DeWine said.
“Wetlands are important because they protect our waterways to help ensure that future generations have access to clean water.”
The 75-acre Weisgerber-Pohlmann Nature Preserve project will restore floodplain near the Tiffin River. Wetlands and vegetation will filter nutrients and restore habitat.
Through ODNR’s partnership with the Black Swamp Conservancy, the project will also allow for the re-introduction of threatened and endangered fish species such as the Blacknose Shiner, Pirate Perch, and Western Banded Killifish.
“Black Swamp Conservancy is excited to partner with ODNR to purchase and restore this property,” Executive Director Rob Krain said.
“Our landscape is both our heritage and our legacy. With important projects like this one, we are protecting our way of life in northwest Ohio – now and for future generations – by balancing our important working lands with critical natural habitats. “The project is expected to be complete in late 2022 and is estimated to cost just over $429,000.
The 9-acre Sugarcamp 7 Blanchard Habitat Project will replace frequently flooded farmland along the Blanchard River with restored wetlands and riparian buffers (tree plantings along waterways) that will help reverse erosion from years of agricultural use.
The project, built on private land with the partnership of property owners the Weiss family, will ultimately slow the flow of any nutrient-filled water, filtering it before it reaches the Maumee River Watershed. The Weiss family is excited to contribute to the goals of H2Ohio and restore this land to its former glory.
“The Sugarcamp wetlands project completes the circle from the Black Swamp to rich evidence of the Ottawa Native American tribe to the legacy of the immigrant farmers from Germany,” landowner Kathleen Weiss said.
“The wetland restoration is a memorial to the history of this unique area and a token of consideration for future generations.” This project is expected to cost $200,000 and will be completed in the Spring of 2022.
Governor DeWine created H2Ohio in 2019 as a comprehensive, data-driven approach to combatting algal blooms, enhancing water quality, and improving water infrastructure over the long term.
H2Ohio was launched with support from the Ohio General Assembly, which invested in the program in Ohio’s two most recent operating budgets. H2Ohio operates in partnership between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.
The initiative focuses on encouraging agricultural best management practices, restoring and enhancing wetlands, upgrading outdated water infrastructure, and replacing lead pipes.
For more information on the H2Ohio initiative, please visit h2.ohio.gov. ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.