H2Ohio Rivers Program Awards Grant to Remove Dam in Carroll County

As part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Rivers program, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) awarded a grant to Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District to remove a low head dam in Carroll County that is impacting both water quality and fish habitat. The Riley Run dam, located along a tributary of Yellow Creek near the Village of Salineville, is scheduled for removal in 2025.

The H2Ohio Rivers program was announced by Governor DeWine as an expansion of his statewide water quality initiative, H2Ohio.

“H2Ohio is all about protecting and improving water quality in all of Ohio’s waterways, including rivers and streams,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Part of the H2Ohio Rivers program is identifying and safely removing deteriorating dams that have outlived their intended use to improve our water quality and protect our natural resources.”

The Riley Run Dam is scheduled for removal in 2025.

The dam creates over-heating and oxygenation issues, degrading the water quality in the stream. The dam is also a barrier impeding fish migration and movement. There are 10 different species of fish that can be found below the dam but are not able to move upstream.

“Removing the dam at Riley Run will further protect the natural wonders of the stream,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “This project will improve aquatic wildlife and allow for further opportunities for the local community and visitors to enjoy the stream as well.”

Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded the grant and is now in the process of starting the dam removal project which includes riparian restoration efforts, such as tree planting. The total cost for the project is $775,000, and the grant will fully cover the cost.

“When the Yellow Creek Watershed Action Plan was drafted 20 years ago, the removal of the Riley Run Dam was slated as one of the top projects,” said Aaron Dodds, Projects Manager of the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District. “However, the cost of the dam removal was nearly insurmountable, as the region around it is distressed and available dollars had to be allocated towards basic survival needs versus other necessary projects, such as the removal of the antiquated dam.”

For more information about H2Ohio Rivers program, please visit https://h2.ohio.gov/rivers-program/.

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.