Ottawa River Progress at UT Campus
Phase 1 of a large project to restore in-stream and riparian habitat along the Ottawa River where it travels through the main campus of the University of Toledo is near completion. In the current phase of work, construction crews removed old mixed fill from the 1960s that had filled in floodplains. Then cleaner soil was added and a wider, stepped river bank was restored and the area seeded. Matt Horvat, program manager and TMACOG Maumee River Coordinator, said that next spring crews will do some planting of native species of bushes and trees in the newly restored area. The stepped river bank, or bench, has increased the storage capacity of the river which will reduce erosion caused by seasonal flooding.
The project is part of the University of Toledo’s master plan to beautify and improve the natural features on the campus. Dr. Patrick Lawrence, chair of the Geography and Planning Department at UT, is the director of the project. The entire project is funded by a grant from the US. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio EPA 319 grant program.
The old riverbank edge was steep and filled with mixed rubble. The wider river bench will accommodate seasonal floods and provide additional habitat for birds and amphibians. During drier weather, it will be an attractive place to walk or visit.
This part of the river is at the western edge of the main UT campus, behind the law school near Secor Road.