Beach and Wetland Improvements at Maumee Bay State Park: The first featured project addresses BUI 10: Beach Closings, and the second project addresses BUI 3: Degradation of Fish and Wildlife Populations, and BUI 14: Loss of Wildlife Habitat.
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.
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.
- Lower levels of waterfowl fecal coliform
- Stabilize 850 feet of shoreline
- Plant 21 acres of pollinator and native grasses
- Add sitting stones and signage for visitor use and education
- 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
- 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
- Protect and enhance fish and wildlife habitat through the use of the rock wall barrier
- Reduce non-native, invasive vegetation within the wetland
These projects are led by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) – 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 (GLRI) and additional funds for the wetland project by H2Ohio.