At a Glance

Habitat, stability, and function are restored to a stream degraded by decades of human impacts.

Project Description

The headwaters of Blue Creek, which ultimately flow into the western basin of Lake Erie, are located in the Maumee State Forest within a globally rare ecosystem known as Oak Openings. Portions of the creek had suffered decades of damage from surrounding agricultural practices, ditching, and the maintenance of an adjacent golf course. Like many streams in this watershed, Blue Creek had hisotrically been straightened, and lacked natural morphology, connection to its flooplain, and habitat. As part of The Nature Conservancy’s Natural Infrastructure Program, which restores wetlands and riparian areas across Ohio to improve water and habitat, the organization sought to restore Blue Creek and turned to Biohabitats for help.

Executed in a design-build capacity with partner Meadville Land Service, the restoration involved stabilizing priority areas along 2,500 LF of heavily impacted stream, restoring fish and benthos habitat through tailored concepts that would withstand stream maintenance, restoring 2,500 LF of riparian buffer, and adding living wattle fences throughout a field which had returned to Category 3 wetland. The wattles provide additional retention time in the existing wetlands, improving the quality of water entering Blue Creek. The design restores aquatic habitat, stabilizes slopes, increases riparian and instream cover, and captures runoff through a wetland before it flows into Blue Creek.

The project restored ecological diversity and functionality, while also reducing stream maintenance needs and improving aesthetics. By dramatically improving fish habitat, it also addressed the Maumee Area of Concern “beneficial use impairment” known as Loss of Fish Habitat.



Great Lakes

Expertise Areas

Design & Build, Ecological Restoration


The Nature Conservancy


Swanton, Ohio, United States

Project Team
  • Meadville Land Service
  • ASC Group, Inc.