Beach and Wetland Improvements at Maumee Bay State Park

Project – Maumee Bay State Park Projects

Project Location

Maumee Bay State Park is a 1,379-acre public recreation area on the shores of Lake Erie. The park features a lodge and conference center, camping facilities, golf course, nature center, beach, and interpretive boardwalk trail. The first featured project within the park is located on the inland lake swimming beach, and the second is located within the park’s 130-acre wetland.

Project Benefits

Beach Project. This project addresses inland lake beach closings due to persistent, elevated fecal indicator bacteria. It works to deter nuisance waterfowl through habitat modification.

• Replacing shoreline turf grass with native grasses and wildflowers not only benefits species more sensitive to habitat loss, but also reduces geese sightlines and space for birds to congregate around the inland beach. Lowering bacteria from waterfowl feces on the beach reduces beach closings, increasing recreational opportunities for park visitors.

Wetland Project. This project enhances about 130 acres of critical wildlife habitat around the shores of Lake Erie, an area that has been dramatically altered by industry and agriculture.

• Maumee Bay State Park wetlands have been degraded by the invasive plant, phragmites. This project enables water level control for invasive species management, which will facilitate the return of native marsh vegetation and high-quality fish and wildlife habitat.

Project Objectives

Beach Project
• Lower levels of waterfowl fecal coliform.
• Stabilize 850 feet of shoreline.
• Plant 21 acres of pollinator and native grasses.

Wetland Project
• Improve 4,362 linear feet of a rock dike wall originally constructed in 1982.
• Install a fish-friendly water control structure to enable water level control and allow fish passage to and from the wetland.

Management Practices

Beach Project
• Stabilize currently unprotected shoreline to make it suitable for native plantings.
• Replace turf grass with native grasses and wildflowers, creating a visual and physical barrier between the main lake shore and inland lake beach to deter waterfowl from congregating.

Wetland Project
• Protect and enhance fish and wildlife habitat by modifying the rock wall barrier and installing a water control structure to allow the water to be maintained and controlled in the wetland area.
• Reduce non-native, invasive vegetation within the wetland.

Project Links

• Project Rack Card: Beach and Wetland Improvements at Maumee Bay State Park
• Data Management and Delisting System Entry: Maumee Bay State Park Inland Lake Waterfowl Deterrent Project
• Data Management and Delisting System Entry: Maumee Bay State Park Coastal Wetland
• From H2Ohio: Maumee Bay State Park Wetland Restoration

Project Partners

These projects are led by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Parks and Watercraft, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy on the wetland project. These projects were funded by grants from Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and additional funds for the wetland project by H2Ohio.

The Nature Conservancy Ohio Logo

Photo credits:
Banner image left: The Nature Conservancy
Banner image right: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Wetland aerial photos: The Nature Conservancy
Stone beach photo: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Wetland stone dike photo: The Nature Conservancy