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Wolf Creek / Berger Ditch Committee

Wolf Creek / Berger Ditch Committee
Maumee Bay is one of Ohio's premier recreational destinations. It is an attraction for swimming, boating, fishing,
and wildlife preserves. The safe use of Maumee Bay and beaches, especially at Maumee Bay State Park, is often
impaired by fecal contamination of recreational waters from a variety of sources.

When Escherichia coli (E. coli) levels exceed the state standard, beach managers at Maumee Bay State Park may
post the beach with a beach advisory. Not only is this a loss to visitors of the area, it also may result in a loss to the
local and state economy. From 2000-2008, the Lake Erie beaches were posted an average of 14 days out of each
100-day bathing season.

The Wolf Creek Committee’s goal is to identify the causes of these high bacteria levels and develop measures for protecting Lake Erie beaches from contamination. Projects that have come out of this group’s work include sewer extensions to eliminate onsite sewage systems, and inspection/repair of remaining systems. Wetlands systems are planned to control the remaining bacteria sources. Wetlands and riparian corridors offer environmental benefits
besides controlling bacteria. They reduce sediment and nutrient loadings to Lake Erie, and provide coastal fish and
wildlife habitat.

The members of the Wolf Creek Committee include political jurisdictions of the watershed, state, Wood and Lucas
County agencies, the University of Toledo, and Ohio DNR, with TMACOG serving as a facilitator. The group was originally formed in 1995 as the Maumee Bay Bacteria Task Force. Its work identified Wolf Creek/Berger Ditch as the primary source of E. coli bacteria impacting the Lake Erie beaches at Maumee Bay State Park. Since reaching that conclusion, studies have focused on the Wolf Creek watershed. In 2009 the group was reformed with a name to match its focus, as a committee of TMACOG. Past documents include the work of the Maumee Bay Bacteria Task Force.

Meetings

2014
05.23.2014 Agenda & related documents | Meeting Minutes

2013
12.12.2013 Agenda & related documents
05.17.2013 Agenda & related documents | Meeting Minutes

2012
11.16.2012 Agenda & related documents | Meeting Minutes
02.10.2012 Agenda & related documents | Meeting Minutes
05.18.2012 Agenda & related documents

2011
01.18.2011 Agenda & related documents
03.08.2011 Agenda & related documents
05.11.2011 Agenda & related documents
09.09.2011 Agenda | 09.09.2011 Minutes
12.07.2011 Agenda | Meeting notes

Wolf Creek / Berger Ditch Restoration Plan Public Meeting – November 4, 2010

Download Wolf Creek - Berger Ditch Corridor Restoration Plan

This plan was prepared by the City of Oregon and members of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) under award NA09NOS4190080 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Office of Coastal Management; and funding provided by USDA Grant 2009-5377 in support of the coordination of the Lake Erie Wetlands & Maumee Bay State Park Phytoremediation Project.

The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, or the Office of Coastal Management.  Matching funds were provided by the City of Oregon Ohio and members of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG).


Contact us for 2009 & 2010 meeting documents


Maumee Bay Bacteria Task Force members have conducted a series of studies to answer these questions. Recent studies include:

Wolf Creek - Berger Ditch Corridor Restoration Plan (2010)
The Wolf Creek committee has further developed the concept of restoring wetlands to capture and treat pathogens in creek water. The proposed wetland system would include sedimentation ponds and floodplains along part of Wolf Creek, and a terraced subsurface flow wetland in Maumee Bay State Park. The overall system is designed to protect the beaches by reducing the pathogens that reach the lake. The wetlands would also reduce nonpoint source pollution while enhancing up to 44 acres of coastal bird habitat.

Maumee Bay State Park Wetland Restoration Plan (2008)
With the Wolf Creek/Berger Ditch watershed identified as a principal source of E. coli impacting the park's Lake Erie beaches, the Maumee Bay Bacteria Task Force is working to develop control measures. The first step has been completed which is a conceptual plan for wetland system to protect the beaches from contamination by pathogens. The study, prepared by Hull & Associates, proposes design concepts for a wetlands restoration plan to provide natural habitat, and eco-tourism, complementing facilities and public access at Maumee Bay State Park.

>>Maumee Bay State Park Wetland Restoration
Hull & Associates

Maumee Bay State Park (MBSP) Beach is a unique recreational destination in northwest Ohio, estimated to receive 112,000 “visitor occasions” to the beach during the summer of 2006. However, the beach is frequently posted with swimming advisories due to high E. coli bacteria measurements. One of the reasons for the decline may be heightened concerns about the water quality. In the summer of 2006 and 2007, the visitors to Maumee Bay State Park Beach were surveyed to collect information on their preferences for the restored wetlands and to estimate the value of the restored wetlands to the beach visitors. Information was also gathered on the amount the visitors spent in the local area when they visited the beach, representing the dollars brought to the local economy.

>>The Value of Restoring Wetlands at Maumee Bay State Park (2008)
Kevin J. Egan and Daryl F. Dwyer

Maumee Bay State Park Public Meeting October 2, 2007
A public meeting was held at the Maumee Bay State Park lodge to present the wetland restoration project to residents and stakeholders, and ask for input. Presentations included a recap of previous studies that led to the wetland restoration plan, a discussion of how wetland systems can control bacteria, and a presentation of potential wetland system design scenarios that could be used at Maumee Bay State Park. Presentations from the meeting are available by clicking the links below:

>>Maumee Bay State Park Bacteria Issues and Project Overview
Kurt Erichsen, TMACOG

>>Wetlands for Controlling Bacteria
Dr. Daryl Dwyer, UT Lake Erie Center

>>Wetland System Scenarios for Maumee Bay State Park
Hull & Associates

Maumee Bay Bacteria Study 2003-2005
>>Summary
>>Full Report

There are many sources of E. coli bacteria entering Maumee Bay. Which have a significant impact on bacteria levels at the Maumee Bay State Park Lake Erie beaches? This study was conducted by the UT Lake Erie Center, US Geological Survey, and TMACOG, with support from the Cities of Oregon and Toledo.


Wolf Creek Study, 2003 Link:

Wolf Creek flows through Northwood, Oregon, and Jerusalem Township. It becomes Berger Ditch and flows north into Maumee Bay at the Maumee Bay State Park boat basin. The mouth of Berger Ditch is a few hundred yards east of the park's Lake Erie beaches. This study was conducted by UT Lake Erie Center and TMACOG investigated sediment bacterial levels in Wolf Creek/Berger Ditch. The study evaluated whether the stream sediments harbored high concentrations of bacteria that are washed out into the bay during storm events.

>>Wolf Creek Committee Operating Procedures resolution

Contact:
Kurt Erichsen, P.E.
Vice President of Environmental Planning
300 Dr Martin Luther King Dr
Toledo, OH 43604

419.241.9155

 

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>>Wetlands at Maumee Bay State Park brochure

>>Restoring Wetlands at Maummee Bay State Park Poster

 

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