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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.


Project Feature: Wolf Creek Restoration at the Oregon Recreational Complex

Wolf Creek Restoration at Oregon Rec Complex

The City of Oregon selected a stretch of Wolf Creek adjacent to the Oregon Recreational Complex for stream restoration, addressing BUI 6 (Degradation of Benthos), and BUI 14a (Loss of Fish Habitat.) This section of Wolf Creek is less than a mile from Pearson Metropark and only three miles from its mouth into Lake Erie. Improvement of Wolf Creek’s stream morphology will foster new instream habitat for fish and benthos. Additional improvements will benefit adjacent floodplain and wetland habitat.

The project’s objectives include improving 5,300 feet of streambank through regrading and vegetating, improving sinuosity (curves and bends) of the stream channel, restoring approximately 3.5 acres of floodplain habitat, and install 2.5 acres of riparian buffer. These improvements are expected to collect and slow runoff from 36 acres. The improved natural area will also provide more opportunities for passive recreation.

In July 2021, the City of Oregon received a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant from the US EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO.) In February of this year, the City of Oregon selected Mannik and Smith Group to provide professional services to design the stream restoration. Project construction will be competitively bid following final design, and construction is expected to begin in spring of 2023.

If you’re interested to learn more about this project’s history and current status, Don Nelson, Environmental Specialist with the City of Oregon, will present in more detail at the quarterly MAAC meeting on June 9th.

2021 Reflection: Dozens of MAPs Funded and Finished

Work on a completed 2021 project: Otter Creek Habitat Restoration

We’re proud to share that last year was a busy one for management action projects (MAPs), with lots of progress to report. Out of 80 total MAPs, 56 (70%) have funding fully allocated, with a further 7 (9%) partially funded. By the end of 2021, 24 projects (30%) were completed, the plurality of which were Wildlife MAPs. Many more projects have a projected completion in 2022-2023. Let’s dig into some details to celebrate what we’ve accomplished, and what we have to look forward to in 2022.

Wildlife MAP Updates (BUI 14b)
All 20 Wildlife MAPs are funded. As of the end of 2021, 11 projects are completed, totaling 716 acres. These include restoration work at Hight Wetland, Hight Prairie, and Toussaint State Wildlife Area. 9 more projects are projected to be completed in 2022-2023.

Aquatic MAP Updates (BUI 3a, 6, 14a)
Of 51 Aquatic MAPs, 32 are funded, 2 are partially funded, and 17 still need funding. Several projects achieved full funding in September 2021, and are getting underway now. 9 projects were completed as of the end of 2021.

Sediment MAP Updates (BUI 3, 6, 14)
Out of 8 Sediment MAP areas, 3 next steps are fully funded and 5 are partially funded. The remedial and habitat portion of the Otter Creek Great Lakes Legacy Act project was completed in Fall 2021, which began with the removal of 50,400 cubic yards of contaminated sediment across 1.7 miles. From there, partners undertook habitat restoration involving the creation of six bendway weirs and six locked brush-piles, as well as planting 1200 willow stakes. Several other sediment projects are in various stages of sampling, reporting, and monitoring.

Looking Ahead
In 2022 the MAAC expects to propose the removal of BUI 1a and 1b “Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption” and BUI 11 “Degradation of Aesthetics.” Years of effort by many partners have gone into completing the management actions associated with these BUIs.

More detailed MAP updates, plus information on Ohio AOC program project funding and prioritization can be found on our website, through a presentation created by Cherie Blair of Ohio EPA. Look for the presentation as a PDF linked in the “Resources” section.

"Reducing the Impact of Chlorides" Project Feature

Chlorides Reduction

Every winter, rain and snow wash road salt into our ditches, streams, and rivers, which degrades water habitats by adding excess chlorides. Too much salt can be toxic for invertebrates and fish. Experts agree that cutting down pollution at its sources will have a positive impact. This year, a team of three MAAC collaborators will begin a multi-phase project to do exactly that, targeting BUI 6 (Degradation of Benthos) and BUI 3a (Degradation of Fish Populations.)

Did you know – a 2005 study showed that in urban streams, our water can be up to 25% saltier than sea water, just due to road salt use? Dr. William Hintz, assistant professor in the University of Toledo’s environmental science department, was recently lead author of another study found that high concentrations of chlorides led to smaller populations of freshwater invertebrates, plus a reduction to their reproduction rate. Dr. Hintz was also recently quoted in a New York Times article covering the environmental harms of road salt.

In 2021, the Ohio EPA awarded a GLRI grant to the University of Toledo (UT), Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG), and Partners for Clean Streams (PCS), to work together to better understand current conditions of urban streams in the AOC and make recommendations on how to reduce road salt pollution. The project is titled “Reducing the impacts of chloride on aquatic species in the Maumee Area of Concern,” and the first of its three phases starts this winter.

Phase one focuses on developing a suite of best management practices to target specific areas in the AOC that show excess chlorides and severely degraded benthos. In broad terms, UT will focus on the chloride sampling and impacts to the streams, TMACOG will identify specific equipment upgrades to reduce salt pollution, and PCS will help coordinate project implementation plans with other organizations and government agencies.

Over the next few years, this chloride reduction project will play a key role in supporting the removal of BUIs 6 and 3a. Stay tuned for updates from these MAAC partners!

DMDS Improvements: 5.0 is here!

DMDS 5.0The DMDS 5.0 is now available! This interactive map has been upgraded so you can easily see the Management Action Projects around the Maumee AOC, plus the sampling data that informs these projects. Since 2015, the DMDS has served as an important tool to view data specific to BUIs, BUI status throughout the AOC, proposed and completed projects, and for related resources.

The DMDS allows users to view data in their browser using map modules, or to download data to make use of it yourself. Using the modules, users can review the status of each BUI for the whole AOC, and also see the status watershed-by-watershed, on a smaller scale.

Any registered user can contribute to the Projects or Resource Library Modules that serves as a repository for information related to the Maumee RAP and Maumee AOC. These resources include documents, reports, GIS data sets, maps, charts, and photos.

You can view the updated DMDS here.

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.