ODNR Breaks Ground on New H2Ohio Wetland in Putnam County

As a part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has broken ground on the Blanchard River Floodplain Restoration Project in Putnam County.

“Water is one of our greatest assets, so it’s important that we protect it,” said Governor DeWine.  “Every time we construct or restore a wetland, we are conserving this valuable resource in a way that protects public health and supports a strong economy.”

This 64-acre project will restore wetlands along the curves of the Blanchard River just west of the village of Ottawa. ODNR, in cooperation with the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, will shape the floodplain along the Blanchard River to increase its capacity to retain floodwaters and reduce nutrients flowing into Lake Erie.   Native plant communities will be restored, and additional vegetation will be planted to add onto a narrow, wooded corridor to help with filtration.

“This project is just one of many we will be working on throughout the winter to ensure better water quality throughout Ohio,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “As we move forward with this important initiative, we continue to focus in on the science that demonstrates these wetlands are natural, long-term solutions to water quality problems here in Ohio.”

Once complete, the Blanchard River Floodplain Restoration Project is expected to cost $800,000. With the help of the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, this project is expected to be finished in early 2022.

“The Maumee Watershed Conservancy District is pleased to partner with the H2Ohio program and the Village of Ottawa for the wetland restoration project along the Blanchard River in Putnam County.  The opportunity to be involved in a project that provides improved habitat as well as reduced sediment and nutrient loading is a privilege that MWCD does not take for granted,” a spokesperson for the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District said.

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 Burntwood – Langenkamp wetland in Mercer 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, and 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: Photos from groundbreaking can be found here
and here.