CECIL, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), in collaboration with the Black Swamp Conservancy, broke ground on a new H2Ohio wetland project in Paulding County on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. The Forder Bridge Floodplain Reconnection project will restore area wetlands to help prevent harmful nutrient runoff into the Maumee River.
“Wetland restoration is a key component of my H2Ohio initiative because wetlands naturally reduce phosphorus runoff, absorb pollutants, and help prevent harmful algal blooms,” said Governor DeWine. “By restoring these wetlands now, this project will contribute to better water quality in the long run.”
“H2Ohio is making great strides toward clearer water in Ohio,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “The Forder Bridge project will improve water quality through two of our main goals: nutrient reduction and wetland restoration.”
H2Ohio funding will be used to restore four acres of wetlands and two streams on this property. The project will also increase the natural uptake and assimilation of nutrients by developing a wetland treatment train along the waterway.
“The goal of this project is to slow the runoff of water from the property and allow natural processes to remove nutrients and other pollutants from that water,” said the Conservancy’s Conservation Manager Melanie Coulter. “This project will help improve water quality in the Maumee River Watershed and create improved wildlife habitat at Forder Bridge.”
The Forder Bridge is a 54-acre parcel that provides public access to the Maumee Scenic River in Crane Township. Black Swamp Conservancy purchased the site in Cecil in 2016. Shortly after that, most of the property was taken out of agricultural use and reforested with native tree plantings.
The Forder Bridge River Access site, which is a popular fishing spot and access point for canoes and kayaks, will be closed to the public during construction, starting September 28. The area is expected to reopen in the spring of 2021.
H2Ohio will be working with Black Swamp Conservancy to complete this project at an estimated cost of $513,000.
This is the one of several wetland projects underway as part of the H2Ohio initiative. Others include the Fruth Wetland Nature Preserve in Paulding County, the St. Joseph Confluence Reconnection in Williams County, and the Van Order Wetland and Forest Restoration in Henry County.