Branch of Conservation Planning
Midwest Region

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Complex Comprehensive Conservation Planimage shows cover of Ottawa NWR Complex CCP

Comprehensive Conservation Plan Completed
The Refuge
To Receive a Copy
Where We're At in the Planning Process

Comprehensive Conservation Plan Completed

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service completed the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in September 2000. The comprehensive conservation plan is intended to outline how the Refuge will fulfill its legal purpose and contribute to the National Wildlife Refuge System's wildlife, habitat and public use goals. The plan articulates management goals for the next 15 years and specifies the objectives and strategies needed to accomplish these goals. While the planned future condition is long-term, we anticipate that the plan will be updated every 5 to 10 years based on information gained through monitoring habitat and wildlife, as well as recreational usage.

The Refuge

Located east of Toledo, Ohio, the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Complex is a unique slice of marshland on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie. As a major migration corridor, the area is vital to waterfowl species that need rest and food either after crossing Lake Erie on their way south or before they head back north over the water.

As much as 70 percent of the Mississippi Flyway's population of black ducks use Lake Erie marshes for migration.

The refuge complex includes three national wildlife refuges: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge; Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge; and West Sister Island National Wildlife Refuge. Information on all three refuges is available by clicking Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Complex was established in 1961 under the authority of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act to preserve a portion of the remaining Lake Erie marshes. Together, the three refuges total approximately 8,318 acres.

The purposes of the Ottawa National Wildlife Complex are to:

The comprehensive conservation plan for the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Complex was completed in October 2000. The plan can be viewed from this web site in portable document format, or you can request a copy of the plan.

Goals, objectives and strategies were developed individually for Ottawa, Cedar Point and West Sister Island national wildlife refuges even though they share many similar goals. Goals were developed under three major categories: Wildlife, Habitat and People. The following are the goals for Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge:


Maintain native wildlife populations in balance with the habitat available while decreasing and limiting exotic plant and animal species. Surveys based on sound scientific methods for fish and wildlife populations will be conducted to determine viable habitat prescriptions to enhance the attractiveness of the refuge for optimum numbers of species and peak populations.


Restore functional components of the Lake Erie marsh ecosystem which includes marshes, wooded wetlands, estuary, and scrub/shrub to provide benefits to endangered species, waterfowl, shorebirds, migratory songbirds, colonial waterbirds, fish, and other species of concern.


Provide public outreach and wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities to a diverse audience by offering a variety of quality educational and recreational activities when they are compatible with wildlife needs. This will promote understanding, appreciation, and support for the Ottawa Refuge Complex and the entire National Wildlife Refuge System.

To Receive a Copy

If you would like a copy of the Plan, call the refuge at 419-898-0014 or write to the refuge at:
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Complex
14000 West State Route 2,
Oak Harbor,
OH 43449

Where Are We in the Planning Process?

These are the steps that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service follows in comprehensive conservation planning; the step that the Ottawa NWR Complex has reached is highlighted:

  1. Preplanning: Plan the Plan
  2. Initiate Public Involvement and Scoping
  3. Review Vision Statement and Goals and Determine Significant Issues
  4. Develop and Analyze Alternatives, Including the Proposed Action
  5. Prepare a Draft CCP and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) Document
  6. Prepare and Adopt Final CCP
  7. Implement Plan, Monitor and Evaluate
  8. Review and Revise the Plan
Last updated: June 3, 2016
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