Ducks Unlimited works to restore wetlands


(Note: With many folks, struggling to survive on farms in America, the lure of all that money waved under their noses is just too much.)


January 3, 2004


News-Messenger reports
The News-Messenger 

P.O. Box 1230 

Fremont, Ohio 43420 

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Through a new program called 'Habitat for Healthy Water,' Ducks Unlimited and its 'partners' are addressing wetland restoration and water quality issues by working with private landowners.

In Northwest Ohio, where 90 percent of wetlands have been destroyed, water quality is becoming an issue that demands attention, officials say.

Ducks Unlimited received a $160,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's (OEPA) Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program to initiate the Healthy Water program in the northern portions of the Sandusky River Watershed.

The program provides landowners within the Muddy Creek, Green Creek, Sandusky River main stem (from Fremont north), and the South Shore Bay tributaries of Lake Erie with technical and financial assistance to restore wetland habitat.

Sarah and Lyle Short of Bay Township in Ottawa County were the first landowners to have wetlands restored through the program.

"I'm happy with it," said Lyle Short, who is eager to watch his wetland fill with water. "It turned out to be a nice area to enjoy in my own backyard."

The Shorts' land had previously been farmed, but included a marginal field that flooded frequently and was eventually abandoned.

Through the Habitat for Healthy Water Program, Ducks Unlimited and its partners conducted an engineering survey and design and paid 75 percent of the costs to restore the site. By extending the terms of a habitat management agreement, the Shorts were eligible for additional funding through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.

The Shorts' project was restored by constructing a 2,180-foot dike; installing a water control structure, and planting warm season grasses. This 11-acre site will filter water from about 27 acres of adjacent farm fields, removing sediments, herbicides and nutrients before they reach Muddy Creek.

Landowners located within the Ohio Coastal Area, the Karst Source Water Protection Area or any Environmental Protection Agency-designated impaired stream segment will be given priority for enrollment in the program. Special attention will be given to highly erodible sites.

Program partners include Erie, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca Soil and Water Conservation Districts; the ODNR Division of Soil & Water Coastal Nonpoint Program; ODNR Division of Wildlife, Sandusky Natural Resources Conservation Service; the Sandusky River Watershed Coalition; the Winous Point Conservancy; and local landowners.


Copyright 2004, The News-Messenger.