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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

In Toledo, an Urban Stream Restoration Project Creates Habitat

Region 3, November 5, 2012
Fill material is removed during construction of cutbank on the Ottawa River at University of Toledo
Fill material is removed during construction of cutbank on the Ottawa River at University of Toledo - Photo Credit: n/a
Kevin Tloczynski, USFWS, plants trees on the cutbank along the Ottawa River at the University of Toledo
Kevin Tloczynski, USFWS, plants trees on the cutbank along the Ottawa River at the University of Toledo - Photo Credit: n/a
Cutbank plantings on the Ottawa River at the University of Toledo
Cutbank plantings on the Ottawa River at the University of Toledo - Photo Credit: n/a

In Toledo, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with partners to restore, enhance and create habitat in and along the Ottawa River on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Until recently the river here was under a fish consumption advisory due to effects from decades of manufacturing activity and improper hazardous waste disposal in the waterway. Through the Service's contaminants program and the Ohio Ecological Services Office, Great Lakes Restoration funds will be used to enhance stream and stream bank restoration and stabilization efforts. On September 24, following removal of approximately 4,700 cubic yards of fill that included construction debris placed there in the late 1950s and improvements to two storm water drains and outfalls, contaminants biologists Jo Ann Banda and Kevin Tloczynski helped plant over 300 native trees along a 900-foot cutbank on the campus. The cutbank will increase the potential flood capacity within the channel and reconnect the incised river system with a constructed section of floodplain bench-planted with wetland and riparian species. The second phase of the project will begin in August 2013 and will incorporate stream function and design principles including riffle and pool structures and erosion control features as needed. The overall project will result in about 3,700 feet of contiguous habitat along the Ottawa River as well as provide a public demonstration area for restoration of an impaired, urbanized stream system. Partnering with the Service on the project are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Toledo Public Schools, Partners for Clean Streams, Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments and the University of Toledo’s President’s Commission on the River.

Contact Info: Jo Banda, 614-416-8993 ext 19, joann_banda@fws.gov