As part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Grand Lake Saint Marys Lake Facilities Authority have broken ground on the Burntwood – Langenkamp wetland at Grand Lake St. Marys in Mercer County.
“Algal blooms have been a problem on Grand Lake St. Marys for more than a decade, but this new H2Ohio wetland will help improve water quality over time,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “The goal is not only to improve the health of the lake, but to also enhance the quality of life for those who live here as well as improve the experience for those who come to visit.”
The Burntwood – Langenkamp wetland is the fourth treatment train associated with nutrient reduction efforts at Grand Lake St. Marys. The 89-acre project consists of three wetlands, several acres of planted trees, and a large buffer area of planted grasses that will slow the flow of water, trap, filter, and remove excess pollutants before they can run into the lake.
“This project is especially important to people who call Grand Lake St. Marys home, a community that has seen more than its share of algal blooms,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “We’re excited that we have found a nature-based solution to that problem. The wetland will improve water quality, and allow more people to enjoy the boating, swimming, and fishing the lake has to offer.”
“Grand Lake St. Marys State Park represents the best of Ohio’s great outdoors,” Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman said. “This is an important part of what the Ohio General Assembly has done to fund clean water projects like H2Ohio which in addition to protecting and improving the water quality helps preserve our wetlands and wildlife.”
The purchase of the property, known as the Langenkamp Family Preserve, was made possible through Ohio Public Works Commission for Clean Ohio Conservation funds. An approximately $1.1 million grant was awarded to the Grand Lake St. Marys Lake Facilities Authority for the 89-acre parcel. The total cost of the restoration project is approximately $1.5 million. With the continued support of the Lake Facilities Authority, the project is expected to be completed in mid-2022.
Other H2Ohio wetland projects currently underway or completed include the Brooks Park Wetland Creation and Water Quality Initiative at Buckeye Lake in Fairfield County, the Oakwoods Nature Preserve East and Oakwoods Nature Preserve West in Hancock County, the Forder Bridge Floodplain Reconnection in Paulding County, the Van Order Wetland and Forest Restoration in Henry County, the wetland area east of the Andreoff Wildlife Area in Wyandot County, the Sandusky Headwaters Preserve in Crawford County, the Fruth Outdoor Center Wetland Restoration project in Seneca County, and the Redhorse Bend Wetland Restoration in Sandusky County.
H2Ohio is Governor DeWine’s initiative to ensure safe and clean water in Ohio. It is a comprehensive, data-driven approach to improving water quality over the long term. H2Ohio focuses on encouraging agricultural best management practices, restoring wetlands, and replacing home septic systems to reduce nutrients that contribute to harmful algal blooms. For more information on the H2Ohio initiative, please visit h2.ohio.gov.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
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Editor’s Note: High-resolution photos of this event can be found here.