H2Ohio is supporting projects that help filter runoff and improve water quality.
As part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has opened its application process for the 2023 wetland grant program. H2Ohio seeks to fund high quality natural infrastructure that reduce nutrient runoff and improve water quality.
The H2Ohio Statewide Wetland Grant Program is a reimbursement grant program that provides up-to-100 percent funding for projects across Ohio. Each project’s budget must be justified in the application with a minimum funding request of $50,000. There is no maximum funding cap.
“Every year ODNR has the opportunity to provide crucial funding for projects that make a real difference in cleaning Ohio’s waterways and improving the state’s drinking water,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “We look forward to learning about the new projects that can continue this worthwhile mission.”
This competitive grant program was once only open to projects in the Ohio River Basin. Now, the statewide program has been expanded to also include projects in the Central Lake Erie Basin. In 2021, the state announced $5 million in grants for 13 wetland projects in 11 counties. Last year, ODNR announced the selection of nine wetland projects with $3 million in grant funding.
Types of eligible H2Ohio projects include:
- Wetland creation
- Hydrologic restoration of wetlands on hydric soils
- Hydrologic enhancement of existing wetlands, floodplains, and riparian corridors
- Stream, conservation channel design and floodplain restoration
- Restoration of forested riparian buffers
- Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) abatement projects
- Dam removal and associated restoration
- Property acquisition if associated with water quality restoration project
- Stormwater retention and/or green infrastructure projects
Grant applications must be submitted to ODNR’s H2Ohio Program in a searchable PDF format by August 25, 2023.
H2Ohio projects in the Western Lake Erie Basin watershed are funded in an open, rolling framework outside of this competitive process.
Interested applicants with projects located in the following Western Lake Erie Basin watershed counties are eligible for alternative H2Ohio funding: Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert, Mercer, Auglaize, Shelby, Allen, Putnam, Henry, Fulton, Lucas, Wood, Hancock, Hardin, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wyandot, Marion, Crawford, Erie, Huron, and Richland.
If your project is located in one of these counties, contact H2Ohio@dnr.ohio.gov before submitting an H2Ohio Wetland Grant Program application.
For more information, visit the H2Ohio Statewide Wetland Grant Program webpage.
Governor Mike DeWine created H2Ohio in 2019 as a comprehensive, data-driven approach to combatting algal blooms, enhancing water quality, and improving water infrastructure over the long term. H2Ohio operates in partnership between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. The initiative focuses on encouraging agricultural best management practices, restoring, and enhancing wetlands, upgrading outdated water infrastructure, and replacing lead pipes. 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.
Editor’s note: 2023 H2Ohio Statewide Wetland Grant Program Application