Stream Restoration Projects Improve Water Quality

Metroparks Toledo recently completed 2 miles of stream restoration along three separate tributaries of Swan Creek under a $458,000 grant from Ohio EPA’s Maumee River Sediment Reduction project, funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Completion of this restoration project will reduce annual sediment and nutrient loading in Swan Creek by an estimated 166 tons of sediment, 168 pounds of phosphorus and 334 pounds of nitrogen.

The project, which was implemented by Metroparks staff along with the Davey Resource Group, included invasive species removal, stream bank stabilization, creation of new stream channels, expansion of existing floodplains, placement of instream habitat and reestablishment of streamside forests and prairies. 

Download a project map to see the locations of the three sites.

Neis Ditch

At the entrance to the Beach Ridge Area at Oak Openings Preserve, Neis Ditch was restored from a channelized ditch lined with invasive reed canary grass into a naturally vegetated stream channel.  In total, 630 feet of new stream channel was restored, 3 new acres of floodplain wetlands were created, 40 tons of stone was installed for instream habitat, and 1,200 trees & shrubs were planted along the new stream.   

Photos: Click through to show the progression of the stream improvements from November 2017 to August 2019.

Blue Creek

At Blue Creek Metropark, a 350-ft section of Blue Creek had become heavily eroded from agricultural stormwater runoff and lack of protection from natural vegetation.  To alleviate additional bank erosion and improve stream quality, the creek was rerouted by creating a new 455-ft section of stream channel.  In total, 2 new acres of floodplain wetlands were created, 210 tons of stone was installed for instream habitat, and 2,300 trees & shrubs were planted in former agricultural fields within the Blue Creek floodplain.

Photos: Click through to show the progression of the stream improvements from November 2018 to August 2019.

Cannonball Prairie

At the newly created Cannonball Prairie Metropark, 37 acres of former agricultural land was restored into streamside prairie adjacent to Van Fleet Ditch.

Photo: Newly planted Cannonball Prairie (August 2019)

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