JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — As a part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), in partnership with the Crawford Park District, is transforming frequently flooded farmland into nutrient-reducing wetland.
“Clean water is critically important to the health of Ohioans,” said DeWine. “Each wetland created through H2Ohio brings us one step closer to our goal of safe and clean water throughout the state.”
The Sandusky Headwaters Preserve is a 38-acre tract immediately adjacent to the Sandusky River. When complete, 85 acres of offsite drainage will be re-routed into a 1-acre wetland before entering the river. Extra filtration will be provided by 18 vernal pools (seasonal pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals) that will capture runoff and floodwaters.
“Small projects can have a big impact when they are strategically placed in the headwaters of a major river,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “This headwaters project will keep nutrients and sediments from entering the water because the waters in this area are narrow, shallow, and in some cases have seasonal water flow.”
The $100,000 project is expected to be complete before the end of 2020.
“We are pleased to be working with ODNR in this first line of defense to reduce nutrient runoff and keep the Sandusky River clean,” Crawford Park District Director Joshua Dyer said. “We look forward to contributing to H2Ohio objectives and improving the quality of life for the citizens and wildlife of Ohio.”
This project joins several other H2Ohio wetland projects underway right now including the Redhorse Bend Preserve in Sandusky County, the Forder Bridge Project in Paulding County, the Fruth Wetland Nature Preserve in Seneca County, the St. Joseph Confluence Reconnection in Williams County, the Van Order Wetland and Forest Restoration in Henry County, and the new wetland area east of the Andreoff Wildlife Area in Wyandot County.
H2Ohio is Wine’s initiative to ensure safe and clean water in Ohio. It is a comprehensive, data-driven approach to improving water quality over the long term. H2Ohio focuses on encouraging agricultural best management practices, restoring and enhancing wetlands, and replacing home septic systems to reduce nutrients that contribute to harmful algal blooms. For more information on the H2Ohio initiative, please visit h2.ohio.gov.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.