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BUI 11 Removal Package Recommended for Approval

An photo of Blue Grass Island channel on the Maumee River.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA are recommending the removal of BUI 11, Degradation of Aesthetics, in the Maumee Area of Concern. At the May MAAC meeting, the Committee will be asked for concurrence with the recommendation before it moves to US EPA and the International Joint Commission for approval. A public comment period will take place in May, so watch Maumee AOC social media for an announcement.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA made this recommendation because the conditions in previously impaired Maumee AOC waterways now meet restoration criteria. This means that the Maumee AOC has addressed previously observed ongoing occurrences of sludge deposits, oil sheens, scum and other objectionable materials; specifically, materials that produce color, odor, or other nuisances.

BUI 11 is the third beneficial use impairment to be recommended for removal among the initial 10 BUIs identified as impaired in the Maumee AOC. The first was BUI 1: Added Costs to Agriculture or Industry (removed in 2015) and the second was BUI 1: Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption (removed in 2022.)

Project Feature: Beach Improvements at Maumee Bay State Park

An photo of Blue Grass Island channel on the Maumee River.

Maumee Bay State Park is a 1,336-acre public recreation area on the shores of Lake Erie. In 2021, work began on the park’s inland lake swimming beach to address BUI 10: Beach Closings. Persistent, elevated fecal indicator bacteria frequently cause this beach to have an advisory posted against it being used for recreation. Studies showed the majority of this bacteria to be from waterfowl feces. The goal of this project is to deter nuisance waterfowl from using this beach and the other areas surrounding the inland lake through habitat modifications. This is the only management action remaining to address BUI 10 within the Maumee AOC.

Project objectives include stabilizing 850 feet of shoreline and planting 21 acres of pollinator and native grasses. Replacing turf grass with native plants will creatie a visual and physical barrier between the main lake shore and the inland swimming beach, to deter waterfowl from congregating.

Lowering bacteria from waterfowl feces on the beach reduces the likelihood of beach closings, increasing recreational opportunities for park visitors. This spring, project work continues with planting seed and controlling invasives.

To learn more about the status and trends for BUI 10, use the DMDS to view bacterial postings and algal toxin postings by year. The DMDS also has charts tracking Maumee Bay State Park beach advisory days per year.

This project is also featured in Beach and Wetland Improvements at Maumee Bay State Park on www.maumeeaoc.org.

Maumee River Islands Restoration Plans – Public Open House

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, City of Toledo, and the Maumee AOC Advisory Committee (MAAC) are hosting a public open house to share new and refined draft designs and to seek input for these plans intended to help improve water quality and aquatic habitat while helping to restore and protect Clark Island and Delaware/Horseshoe Islands. These islands are in the Maumee River near Walbridge Park and are owned by the City of Toledo.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Walbridge Park Shelter House
2761 Broadway St., Toledo

Plans for the H2Ohio-funded activities at and near the islands are focused on nutrient reduction through the settling of sediment and uptake from plants. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-funded planning activities are focused on improving habitat for fish and benthos (small organisms that live on the river bottom). Island habitat in the Maumee River is particularly important for the prosperity of fish and benthos.

Engineering and design activities are being completed under the direction of the collaborating and funding agencies and are led by engineers and scientists at Verdantas (formerly Hull & Associates), with input from several specialists, including modeling experts at LimnoTech and biologists at the University of Toledo.

If you attended the September open house or viewed the draft designs shared at that event, the Clark Island design reflects minor refinements. The Delaware/Horseshoe Islands draft project design is now much more fully designed building upon the preliminary design prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2021-2022.

We hope you can join us on March 14th anytime between 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to learn more about these projects and to provide your thoughts for the design team’s consideration. For more information about these projects or this event, please visit www.toledoport.org/projects/clark-and-
delawarehorseshoe-islands-restoration-projects/ or call or email Jenny Carter-Cornell, APR, (567) 200-4355 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you, and we hope to see you at Walbridge Park!

MaumeeIslandsOpenHouseLogos

Maumee Islands Recent and Draft Restoration

GLRIDraftDesign

H2OhioDraftDesign

Management Action Project Status Going Into 2023

Last year was a productive one for management action projects securing funding and reaching completion. For Wildlife Management Action Projects, 75% (15 of 20) were complete by the end of 2022, expanding habitat for key species in the Maumee AOC, such as the sandhill crane and wild turkeys. For Aquatic Management Action Projects, combining both the AOC-funded and non-AOC funded projects, 90% of AquaMAPs are fully funded. Looking ahead, several more AquaMAPs will have design and construction underway in 2023.

We are proud to share our AOC’s progress toward BUI removal and looking forward to what this year brings.

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Project Feature: Maumee Bay Wetland Restoration

4Maumee Bay State Park is a 1,336-acre public recreation area on the shores of Lake Erie. In 2022, construction got underway and completed on a wildlife habitat management action project focused on enhancing the park’s wetlands.

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. In particular, the Maumee Bay State Park wetland has been degraded by the invasive reed, 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 included improving 4,362 linear feet of a rock dike wall originally constructed in 1982 and installing a fish-friendly water control structure to enable water level control and allow fish passage to and from the wetland.

Maumee Bay State Park’s wetland restoration project was led by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) – Division of Parks and Watercraft, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. It was funded by a grant from Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) with additional funds from H2Ohio.

A more robust project feature will be up on maumeeaoc.org later this year.

The Maumee AOC Committee works toward fishable and swimmable waters in the Maumee Area of Concern and delisting the beneficial use impairments. The Committee is working towards all major restoration projects being completed by 2025, through collaboration of partners and volunteer opportunities by its facilitating organization, Partners for Clean Streams. The committee is made up of representatives from various organizations, citizens, businesses and non-government agencies to build long term solutions to the area’s water quality issues.