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Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge: Partnering to Restore Lake Erie Coastal Wetlands
Midwest Region, March 26, 2012
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Pre restoration photograph of the Ottawa NWR 100 acre Blausey tract. The site will be restored to coastal marsh habitat with fish passage to the Toussaint River.
Pre restoration photograph of the Ottawa NWR 100 acre Blausey tract. The site will be restored to coastal marsh habitat with fish passage to the Toussaint River. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Pre restoration photograph of the Kontz Unit's 33 acre wet meadow habitat project.
Pre restoration photograph of the Kontz Unit's 33 acre wet meadow habitat project. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Blausey unit aerial photograph of the restoration design plan.
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Blausey unit aerial photograph of the restoration design plan. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Aerial map highlighting the reforestation and wetland enhancement projects for the Helle unit of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.
Aerial map highlighting the reforestation and wetland enhancement projects for the Helle unit of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: USFWS

The western Lake Erie landscape has experienced much anthropogenic alteration over the last 200 years. The marshes, wetlands and shorelines of western Lake Erie have been extensively developed and converted to agriculture or lost entirely due to drainage, altered hydrology and modified sedimentation patterns. The conversion of coastal marshes and wetlands has resulted in significant nutrient loading causing harmful algal blooms and eutrophication problems in Lake Erie.

In late 2011, The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, applied for and recieved $1.3 million dollars through a Great Lake Restoration Initiative grant to restore or enhance 512 acres of fish and wildlife habitat on Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. The The Nature Conservancy will restore wetland and upland habitat within the refuge in the Toussaint River, Turtle Creek and Crane Creek watersheds all within the Maumee Area of Concern. The project will preserve significant migratory bird habitat within a Globally Important Bird Area, provide habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species, provide fish passage into newly restored coastal wetlands for spawning and rearing and improve water quality within the watersheds, including Lake Erie. Restoration work will begin this spring 2012 and conclude sometime in December 2012 or early 2013.


Contact Info: Jason Lewis, 812-273-0783, Jason_Lewis@fws.gov
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