Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, ODNR, and Intel Announce New H2Ohio Partnership

Intel donates funding for a new H2Ohio wetland restoration project

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and Intel announced today a new H2Ohio partnership to protect and improve water quality in the Licking Watershed.

“Water means business here in Ohio, and we are excited about partnering with Intel on an H2Ohio project that aligns with a mission we are both dedicated to – protecting our water,” said Governor DeWine. “I appreciate that Intel cares as much as we do about the quality of Ohio’s water.”

“One of the reasons that Intel chose Ohio was because we are a water-rich state due to our abundant water resources, including rivers, lakes, reservoirs and groundwater,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “It’s important that we protect these resources, and today’s announcement will further that mission thanks to our partnership with Intel.”

H2Ohio is Governor DeWine’s statewide water quality initiative that is improving Ohio’s many waterways. Intel’s mission to invest in local watersheds in which they operate aligns with the H2Ohio initiative, which sparked this partnership.

“As we continue building a bright future in the Silicon Heartland, Intel is committed to upholding the highest sustainability standards in Ohio with its investments and innovations,” Intel Chief Global Operations Officer Keyvan Esfarjani said. “This historic water restoration project will support the local watershed, and when combined with Intel’s investment in onsite water treatment, conservation and reuse efforts, will further strengthen Ohio’s watersheds.”

ODNR’s portion of H2Ohio focuses on restoring and creating wetlands to filter nutrients from the landscape that cause water quality issues, such as algal blooms.

The Licking River floodplain project will restore 90 acres of retired farmland along the Licking River. Once restored, the floodplain wetland will capture phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment in flood waters and prevent them from contaminating the Licking River, which flows into the Dillon Lake Reservoir, and eventually into the Ohio River.

Since 2019, ODNR has overseen 170 H2Ohio wetland projects that are either completed or in the works. These projects have led to 15,000 acres of habitat restoration.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Intel as we continue to carry out our mission to improve water quality around Ohio,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “By protecting our vital water supply, these wetlands embody the kind of conservation work ODNR has been doing for 75 years.”

H2Ohio is Governor DeWine’s statewide water quality initiative designed to address complex issues impacting Ohio’s waters. Launched in 2019, H2Ohio uses a comprehensive approach guided by science and data to reduce algal blooms, stop pollution, and improve access to clean drinking water by supporting best farming practices, road salt runoff reduction, litter cleanup, dam removal, land conservation, and water infrastructure revitalization. For more information visit