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Clark Island and Delaware/Horseshoe Islands Restoration

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, City of Toledo, and the Maumee AOC Advisory Committee (MAAC), with significant input from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA), are leading planning efforts 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.

 Planned Project Benefits
  • Reduced sedimentation and nutrient loading in Maumee River and Lake Erie and resulting water quality improvements
  • Improved habitat for fish, benthos (organisms that live on and near the river bottom), and other species
  • Protected and enhanced island and shoreline habitat
    • Reducing further island erosion
    • Creating resilience in ecological systems to withstand higher and more variable river flows
    • Protecting existing park and recreational boating infrastructure

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority recently received funding from the H2Ohio program and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to complete engineering, design, and permit preparation activities for work at and near the islands. Plans for H2Ohio-funded activities are focused on nutrient reduction through sediment settlement and plant uptake. GLRI-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 agencies and are led by engineers and scientists at Verdantas (fka Hull & Associates, LLC), with input from several specialists, including modeling experts at LimnoTech and biologists at the University of Toledo. Plans for the Delaware/Horseshoe Islands advance the preliminary design prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2021-2022. These designs incorporated significant stakeholder input from earlier public outreach.

H2Ohio-funded engineering, design, and permit preparation activities are planned for completion in December 2022; GLRI-funded plans are anticipated to be finished in spring 2023. If work is recommended to proceed by the project partners based on final plan details, cost estimates, and stakeholder feedback, construction could begin as early 2023 or 2024, pending secured permits and construction funding.

Maumee River Island Restoration Recent ConditionsMaumee River Island Restoration Preliminary Plans

 

September Open House

Please join us at a public open house to see draft designs and to provide input for plans intended to help improve water quality and aquatic habitat while helping to restore and protect Clark Island and Delaware/Horseshoe Islands.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Walbridge Park Picnic Pavilion
2761 Broadway St., Toledo

We hope you can attend anytime between 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to learn more about these exciting projects in the Maumee River and to provide your thoughts for the design team’s consideration. For more information about these projects or this event, please 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.. We hope to see you at Walbridge Park!

Note: If you can’t make the open house but are interested in seeing the draft design details and discussing project plans, please contact Jenny.

Tenmile Creek NPS-IS Available for Comment

Partners for Clean Streams has been updating watershed plans throughout the Maumee AOC. They need your input to help identify water resource projects in the Tenmile Creek area, such as eroding streambanks or spots in need of habitat restoration. 

The Tenmile Creek HUC-12 NPS-IS is ready for feedback and input. View and download the PDF here. Please reach out with any new projects in this watershed. You can email your feedback to the consultant, Deanna Bobak, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

BUI 1 Recommended for Removal

BUI 1 Recommended for Removal

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA are recommending the removal of BUI 1, Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption, in the Maumee Area of Concern.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA made this recommendation because the conditions now meet restoration criteria that include fish and wildlife consumption in all waters of the Maumee AOC. This means the fish and wildlife meet safe consumption thresholds used by the Ohio Department of Health in the Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory. Written comments on proposed BUI 1 removal will be accepted through August 5 and can be emailed to Cherie Blair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

From the recommendation summary:

“All fish species in all waters of the Maumee AOC have been identified as safe to consume at a frequency of one meal per month, or less restrictive, thus meeting the BUI Restoration Target for fish.

“Snapping turtle muscle (meat) in the Ottawa River of the Maumee AOC are below the contaminant levels designated as safe to consume at a frequency of one meal per month or less restrictive, thus meeting the BUI Restoration Target for wildlife, even though an advisory remains as a precaution to minimize the possible exposure risk to contaminated fat bodies while cleaning/preparing snapping turtles for consumption.”

BUI 1 is the second beneficial use impairment to be recommended for removal among the initial 10 BUIs identified as impaired in the Maumee AOC. The first was BUI 12, Added Costs to Agriculture or Industry, which was removed in 2015.

Project Feature: Prairie Ditch Restoration at Secor Metropark

Project Feature: Prairie Ditch Restoration at Secor Metropark

Metroparks Toledo is working to improve a section of Prairie Ditch within the expanded boundary of Secor Metropark, addressing BUI 6 (Degradation of Benthos), and BUI 14a (Loss of Fish Habitat). Secor Metropark includes over 600 acres of Oak Openings habitat in areas currently open to the public, containing walking trails, a visitors’ center, and picnic areas.

The Secor Metropark expansion project began in 2020 when two former golf courses were purchased by Metroparks Toledo. Restoration work on the Secor expansion is a large undertaking composed of many smaller projects wholly supported by different grant funding mechanisms.

AOC funding supported purchasing an important piece of the property and in adding habitat through upland vegetation. Additional AOC funding added a new focus for the AOC as an aquatic habitat project that will restore approximately 3,500 feet of instream habitat. Stream improvements include floodplain expansion, creation of streamside wetlands within the floodplain, riffle construction (shallow places where water runs fast and is agitated by rocks), and selective planting of native trees, shrubs, and other plants. Management practices include restoring natural curves to the waterway while creating shallower streambanks to promote bank stabilization and re-connection to the floodplain. These earthworks decrease the negative effects of past stream channelization, and prevent loss of sediment due to erosion, maintaining the character of the habitat for years to come.

As of the end of July 2022, most of the work on and along Prairie Ditch is complete, with just a little more planting and seeding and cleanup work to be finished this fall. Although the area is not yet open to the public, in several years, the former golf courses will be transformed through restored stream channels, new floodplains, wetland and pond areas, prairie and woodlot areas, and thriving wildlife as an expanded portion of Secor Metropark.

Aquatic MAPs Funded and Underway

DMDS 5.0

Of 35 Aquatic MAP (management action plan) projects, 13 are fully funded, 13 have funding allocated, and 3 have funding pending allocation. Funding will be requested for 3 more projects in late May and a few more have future anticipated funding requests in 2023. Aquatic MAP projects focus on BUIs directly associated with water quality: BUI 3a (Degradation of Fish Populations), BUI 6 (Degradation of Benthos), and BUI 14a (Loss of Fish Habitat.)

Several of these projects achieved full funding late last year and are getting underway now. In this edition of our newsletter, we’ll take a closer look at an Aquatic MAP project that was funded in 2021 and is getting underway this year in the Maumee AOC.

 

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.