At a Glance
74 acres of restored, native habitat along the Blanchard River regenerate floodplain function and help improve water quality and biological health in the Western Lake Erie Basin.
Much of the Blanchard River watershed was once covered in wetlands, but by the early 1900s, the majority of those wetlands were drained and converted to agricultural lands. The river's natural flow was also altered to support agriculture. Over time, the river became impaired, with siltation, low oxygen, and excess nutrients and ammonia.
To help the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) restore the river's biological health and ecological function, Biohabitats transformed 74 acres of former cropland along the river into a mosaic of seasonally inundated floodplain wetlands, forested riparian habitat, and native warm season prairie. With funding from the State's H2Ohio initiative, Biohabitats worked closely with WMCD and project partners, the Village of Ottawa and Ohio DNR, to craft and construct a restoration design to maximize floodwater retention, nutrient assimilation, and sediment capture.
The design created 21 acres of floodplain wetlands and established native vegetation across the site including 15 acres of native meadow. Along with the hummock and hollow topography, the depressions and seepage berms provide nutrient processing, increased biodiversity, and surface and groundwater storage. They also affect the sediment and natural flow regime and increase surface/groundwater interaction which is integral for nitrogen flow reduction.
Conservation, Design & Build, Ecological Restoration, Water
The Village of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ohio, United States