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Ottawa River Restoration Project Expanded

A project to improve the habitat of the Ottawa River where it flows through the University of Toledo’s main campus has been expanded from a 900-foot patch by Savage Arena to the entire 3,700-foot length of the river on the campus. TMACOG is a subcontractor for the project with management and coordination responsibilities.

The Ottawa River is targeted for restoration in the area because it has been channelized into a steep ditch for most of its length on the campus, with very little vegetation on streambanks or streambed. Because of the shape of the banks and lack of vegetation, the river is subject to erosion causing sediment pollution, and has little habitat for fish or other animals that typically live in area streams. The plan for restoration includes planting native species and adding natural materials including logs and stones to the streambed to provide habitat and cover. The improved design should be more hospitable to fish life, reduce erosion, and should allow the stream to handle stormwater more effectively. Some shrubs have already been planted and are being monitored to see which are successful. See video links here and here to watch how the team harvested and prepared the stakes.

Grants from the Ohio EPA and the Stranahan Foundation are providing funding for the project. Other partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which funded initial design, and the UT Department of Geography and Planning, which is leading the university’s President’s Commission on the River. Through yet another grant, Partners for Clean Streams will provide some labor for the actual construction work. Construction should begin in the spring of 2012.


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