In 2010, approximately 250,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments were removed from the upper reaches of the lower 9 miles of the Ottawa River around Suder Ave bridge to Auburn Ave bridge. The lower 3 miles were not dredged but monitored for natural recovery to support the removal of Beneficial Use Impairments. In 2020 remedy effectiveness assessment (REA) sampling was completed by U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development in areas that were dredged. The REA report will be available in 2023. Also, in 2020 sampling for remedy confirmation was completed by U.S. ACE in the monitored natural recovery (MNR) area. A link to the MNR remedy confirmation report is available below.
The Ottawa River clean-up was divided into four reaches. Reach 1 being the most downstream reach, extending from the mouth of the Ottawa River to approximately river mile 3.5. Reaches 2, 3, and 4 extending, approximately, from river miles 3.5 to 9.
• Reduce or remove impairments negatively affected aquatic communities.
• Improve overall environmental health and usability of this area.
Project Objectives and Milestones
• Encourage economic development and reuse of the area.
• Removal of Ottawa River sediments contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heavy metals (primarily lead), and oil and grease was completed in 2010 to improve water quality, habitat, and biological communities.
• Contact and consumption advisories were reduced in 2012 and 2017.
• BUI 1: Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption was removed in August 2022.
• Korleski to Mulinex Maumee consumption BUI approval letter (August 20233)
• Final Sediment Remedy Confirmation Ottawa River-Reach 1 Site Characterization Report (July 2020)
• Great Lakes Legacy Act: The Ottawa River Cleanup Project Presentation (December 2010)
• From Great Lakes Mud: Ottawa River Sediment Clean-up Complete (2010)
• From U.S. EPA: Maumee AOC Overview
U.S. EPA and the Ottawa River Group (comprised of seven industries & the city of Toledo) worked with community partners and other federal, state, and local governmental agencies to evaluate and clean up contaminated sediments utilizing the Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) and other non-federal funding.
All page photos: Ohio EPA