Project to Protect Chagrin River Made Possible by H2Ohio

As a part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will help restore habitat and improve water quality along the Chagrin River, a state-designated scenic river,  in Lake County.  ODNR has awarded a $2.2 million grant to the Chagrin River Watershed Partners to restore wetlands and strengthen riverbanks five miles from Lake Erie.

“Providing access to clean water is the ultimate goal of H2Ohio, and this project will contribute toward better water quality in the central Lake Erie Basin,” said Governor Mike DeWine.  “The Chagrin Scenic River is one of northeast Ohio’s beloved natural resources, and we’re proud to work with local partners to help ensure that the river is preserved for generations to come.”

The Chagrin River and East Branch Corridor Restoration and Protection Project will restore nearly 1,400 linear feet of river, protect 7,000 linear feet of streams, and enhance 78.4 acres of riparian lands.  It will stabilize eroding streambanks using riparian buffers, or lines of vegetation, to filter nutrients before they flow downstream toward Lake Erie. An oxbow wetland will be created to store excess water that might otherwise lead to flooding, filter water to improve water quality, and provide habitat to a variety of wildlife.

“We are thrilled to work with such great partners and expand the reach of the H2Ohio initiative,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Each project, no matter how big or small, contributes to a better future for Ohioans and ensures future generations will have access to clean water.”
This project is made possible because of a partnership of the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, the City of Willoughby, and other local partners. Once complete, it will not only improve water quality, but will increase safe and public access to the river from Daniels Park in Willoughby, Ohio.

“This project represents an important collaboration of public, non-profit, and private entities with a focus on conservation and riparian corridor protection,” Willoughby Mayor Bob Fiala said.

The Chagrin River and East Branch Corridor Restoration and Protection Project is expected to be complete in the summer of 2023. It is one of more than 80 H2Ohio wetland projects complete or underway across Ohio.

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

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

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