There has been a lot progress made in funding and implementing the MAAC-recommended management action (MAP) projects for Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) 14b (Loss of Wildlife Habitat). Since the list of projects were approved by Ohio EPA and US EPA in early 2018, 17 of the 20 projects have been fully funded, two are funded through engineering and design (E&D) with implementation funding expected or in hand, and one is in the application process for funding. The Penn 7 Restoration Project is one of the projects currently undergoing E&D with implementation funding secured. Read on for a summary of this project and this exciting progress!
As a former confined disposal facility (CDF) on the banks of the lower Maumee River, the vacant 59-acre Penn 7 Property once accepted material dredged from the Toledo Harbor shipping channel. The property was encircled by a large berm to prevent dredged material from moving off-site. This berm currently isolates on-site wetlands from the river, thereby reducing the value of the wetlands with respect to fish and wildlife habitat.
With funds received from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) through a National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Regional Partnership awarded to the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) and subcontracted to the City of Toledo, the following restoration activities are planned:
- Connection of the upstream portion of Penn 7 to the Maumee River to allow river water to flow through the system;
- Excavation/re-contouring of the upstream part of the property to improve a wetland to better support fish and wildlife;
- Excavation of a channel to connect the wetland to the open embayment portion of the property;
- Construction of a berm at the outer boundary of the embayment area to protect a planned wetland behind it;
- Installation of aquatic habitat structures and removal of invasive species; and
- Habitat improvements for the forested upland area.
This restoration work is expected to support a variety of wildlife and fish species. Once connected to the river, the Penn 7 site could act as a productive spawning and nursery site for over 40 species of Lake Erie fish. It is also expected that the site will act as an important migratory stopover for a number of bird species, while also providing quality habitat for area amphibians and mammals.
This project involves an engaged project management team representing the City of Toledo, NOAA, Great Lakes Commission, Ohio EPA, ODNR Division of Wildlife, and the contracted engineering firm, Hull & Associates, Inc. For questions regarding this project and its progress, please contact the project public liaison at Hull & Associates, Inc.; Jenny Carter-Cornell ([email protected]). Additional project information is available at www.glc.org/work/aocs/maumee.
For a pdf of the current restoration concept plan, click here.