February& March 2012
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Portage River Watershed Action Plan submitted for endorsement

TMACOG and partners in the Portage River watershed have completed an action plan for the watershed and have submitted the plan to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for endorsement by the state. The plan is also being reviewed by the rest of the team with representatives from the Ohio EPA and Ohio University Extension. An endorsed plan makes regional applicants eligible for a whole category of state and federal grants. It also becomes a blueprint for people in the watershed who are working to maintain or improve water quality by listing impairments and suggested improvements. When approved, the Portage River Action Plan will be published on the TMACOG website and made available for download.

A river action plan is a large, comprehensive document. It starts with a description of the watershed, including location, cities and other habitation, and background on water management activities in the region. An important part of action plan development is participation of people in the watershed. The Portage plan was created with input from people with a wide range of interests in the region: agriculture, real estate, business, and government. A thorough inventory includes geology, biological features, water resources (rain and snow in the region), ground water, and land use such as agriculture and urban areas. Water resource quality is another parameter of an action plan. Quality is evaluated by types of water pollution known, existing septic systems, nearby animal feeding operations, streams that have been channelized into ditches or pipes, and other measurable features. Once problems or threats have been identified, the action plan describes goals and strategies for remediation. Best management practices for the watershed specifically address phosphorus levels. Both agricultural and stormwater best practices are structured to prevent phosphorus from entering the natural waterway system.

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