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Wolf Creek Restoration at Oregon Recreational Complex

Wolf Creek Restoration at Oregon Recreational Complex: This project includes both streambank and floodplain restoration, which will improve conditions for fish and benthos while also intercepting agricultural drainage to reduce nonpoint source pollution.

PROJECT LOCATION:

The project site is located along a stretch of Wolf Creek in the southeast corner of the Oregon Recreation Complex, owned by the City of Oregon. This section of Wolf Creek is less than a mile from Pearson Metropark and only three miles from its mouth into Lake Erie. The site’s adjacent land includes athletic fields, parking lots, agricultural fields, and bike paths.

PROJECT BENEFITS:

Coastal Lake Erie habitat was historically dominated by grassy and forested wetlands. Human activities dramatically altered this landscape, resulting in a loss of more than 90% of historic wetlands. The stream restoration on Wolf Creek will improve habitat for fish and benthos. Benthos are organisms that live in the sediment or near the bottom of a water body. Benthos make up the base of aquatic food systems and are vital to ecosystem health. Restoration of this coastal Lake Erie waterway provides the following benefits:

  • Improvement of Wolf Creek stream morphology and a reduction in channel incision fosters new instream, floodplain, and wetland habitat for fish and benthos.
  • Reduces sediment and agricultural runoff into Wolf Creek from unstable streambank slopes, improving overall water quality within the Maumee Area of Concern.
  • Provides passive recreation and educational opportunities for recreational complex users via a new stone walking path and boardwalk platforms.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES:

  • Improve 5,300 feet of streambank through regrading and vegetating.
  • Improve sinuosity (curves and bends) of stream channel.
  • Restore approximately 3.5 acres of floodplain habitat, including the creation of 1.5 acres of wetland.
  • Install 2.5 acres of riparian buffer.
  • Collect and slow runoff from 36 acres.

MANAGEMENT PRACTICES:

  • A two-stage channel design will stabilize eroding stream banks by shaping at a more stable 3:1 slope. Partway down the banks, a step covered with vegetation creates a supportive plateau, before sloping down gently again to reach the creek bed. Widening the creek bed itself will promote habitat features like meanders, pools, and riffles.
  • The creation of 1.5 acre floodplain wetland approximately 1’ above baseflow elevation and directly connected to Wolf Creek to allow floodplain access during rain events.
  • The project also reduces nonpoint source pollution by intercepting agricultural drainage and capturing nutrients and sediment, routing it through a constructed wetland system in the floodplain habitat.

PROJECT LINKS:

PROJECT PARTNERS:

This project is led by the City of Oregon. The City received a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant from the US EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO.) The Oregon City Council selected the engineering firm Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. to provide professional services to design the stream restoration. A construction company will be selected once the design is complete.

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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.