Major Grant to Fund Wetland Construction
On August 8, the U.S. EPA announced grants under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that will go to several Ohio organizations. The largest of the Ohio grants, at $1,348,595, was awarded to the University of Toledo (UT) to build a passive treatment wetland at Maumee Bay State Park.
Dr. Daryl F. Dwyer, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences at UT, has been one of the leading partners during many years of research into bacterial contamination at the Lake Erie beaches of the park. He described the passive treatment wetlands plan as the least expensive option and one that makes beneficial use of the low, flat area to be treated and the strong seiche effect from Lake Erie. A description of the proposed complete restoration plan is here.
Research has shown that Berger Ditch/Wolf Creek, which drains into the Maumee Bay at the park, is a major source of bacteria in the Bay. The 10-acre wetland will hold water from that creek and naturally filter out bacteria as well as nutrients that can contribute to nuisance algal blooms. The ultimate goal is a reduction in the number of beach closings and improved public health through improved water quality in Lake Erie’s Maumee Bay.
UT will lead the wetlands project. Initial steps include hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, soil testing, surveying, and ecological evaluation. UT expects the project – including modeling, testing, and permitting – to take 24 months after the contract is received. The U.S. EPA grant includes an allocation to TMACOG to coordinate with stakeholders through the Wolf Creek Committee and to conduct public outreach and education.
Other partners who have worked together to research the sources of E. coli at the park include the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the City of Oregon, Lucas County, TMACOG, United States Geological Survey, Ohio EPA, and Ohio Department of Health.
Cameron Davis, EPA senior advisor to the administrator,
announces the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants
at the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center.