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First H2Ohio Wetland in Central Ohio Now Complete

September 20, 2021

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Brooks Park Wetland Restoration at Buckeye Lake. This project was funded by Governor Mike Dewine’s H2Ohio program and was one of 3 projects selected in the Ohio River Basin. Hull served as the engineer for the project, providing surveying, environmental assessment, ecological/wetland and stream design, and construction administration. This wetland will help filter out sediment and nutrients from Murphy’s Run with the goal of reducing harmful algal blooms in Buckeye Lake. Hull’s Project Engineer, Conner Smith, P.E., gave a short presentation and tour of the new facility, which included a boardwalk and educational signage. This project has been selected by H2Ohio for long-term monitoring to demonstrate the effectiveness of natural ecosystems as one tool to help improve water quality. The benefits of this project will be long-lasting, and we are so excited for the H2Ohio Program, ODNR and all who frequent the lake.

See below for ODNR’s full press release:

MILLERSPORT, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz announced today that the H2Ohio wetland project to reduce harmful algal blooms on Buckeye Lake is now complete. The new Brooks Park Wetland Complex is the first H2Ohio wetland project in Central Ohio.

“Algal blooms are not exclusive only to Lake Erie, so it’s important that we expand our H2Ohio wetland work to other parts of the state,” said Governor DeWine.  “The algal blooms seen at Buckeye Lake over the last decade show why this work is so important, and over the long term, we’ll see these new wetlands filter out nutrients that cause the blooms.”

The Brooks Park project creates a wetland complex along Murphy’s Run, a tributary stream that receives stormwater runoff from nearby farm fields.  That runoff eventually flows into Buckeye Lake and can lead to algal blooms. By redirecting the stream flow through the wetland, excess nutrients that can cause harm will be filtered out before water makes it to the lake.

Buckeye Lake has had algae blooms nearly every year since 2010. When toxic algal blooms are identified, ODNR posts a red sign advising against swimming due to impacts that harmful algae blooms can have on health.

“People come from all over Ohio and beyond to enjoy Buckeye Lake,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz.   “Those days are ruined every time we have to put a sign up saying the water isn’t safe.  This wetland is a long-term solution that will help keep water clean and beautiful for people to enjoy for years to come.”

ODNR’s Division of Parks and Watercraft helped in the design and construction of this 3-acre project. The total cost of the project is $750,000.

Other H2Ohio wetland projects currently underway or completed include the Burntwood-Langenkamp Wetland Conservation Area in Mercer County, the Oakwoods Nature Preserve East and Oakwoods Nature Preserve West in Hancock County, the Forder Bridge Floodplain Reconnection in Paulding County, the Van Order Wetland and Forest Restoration in Henry County, the wetland area east of the Andreoff Wildlife Area in Wyandot County, Sandusky Headwaters Preserve in Crawford County, the Fruth Outdoor Center Wetland Restoration project in Seneca County, and the Redhorse Bend Wetland Restoration in Sandusky County.
H2Ohio is Governor DeWine’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.

Editor’s Note: High resolution photos and video can be found here.

 

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Jenny Carter-Cornell
+1-567-200-4355
jcornell@hullinc.com