In the fall of 2016, EnviroScience, Inc. and RiverReach Construction completed the design-build restoration of two former agricultural properties in Paulding County, Ohio. The sites were heavily altered by clearing, ditching, and field tile installation given their past agricultural land use. The project included over 40 acres of wetland restoration and 3,500 linear feet of stream within the historic extent of the Great Black Swamp (which once occupied approximately 1,500 square miles of northwest Ohio before being drained and converted mainly to agricultural production). This project will greatly improve the site’s hydrology through natural stream and floodplain restoration activities, and by interrupting the drain tiles. The site will be heavily vegetated with native wetland and upland seed mixes and plants. Several vernal pools will also be constructed that will provide important amphibian breeding habitat.
The project is located within the Maumee River watershed, which is the primary contributor to Western Lake Erie Basin dissolved nutrient pollution. As an additional project component, EnviroScience designed the riffles within the restored stream to increase denitrification in order to help decrease dissolved nutrient pollution within this stream. A team of researchers at Kent State University are conducting pre- and post-construction monitoring to determine the project’s level of nutrient removal success and to inform future restoration designs.
EnviroScience staff helped to raise the grant funding for this project, which was provided by the Sustain Our Great Lakes program, Ohio EPA’s Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF), and through a grant from the Ohio EPA’s Section 319 program.