Wetland Restoration Key In Lake Erie Phosphorus Reduction Plan

By on July 13, 2016
wetland restoration

Old Woman Creek wetlands. (Credit: Fondriest Environmental)

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is looking to restore wetlands near the western basin of Lake Erie as one component of a state plan to reduce phosphorus going into the lake, according to the Sandusky Register. The goal of the plan, called the Western Lake Erie Basin Collaborative Implementation Plan, is to cut the phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 40 percent.

At one end of this strategy, ODNR experts are considering wetland systems in northwest Ohio to identify those that can potentially be restored. They are also looking specifically at wetlands at the Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve with a study by Ohio Sea Grant, Heidelberg University and Kent State University. The effort there is dissecting how the estuary acts as a filter as water passes through to Lake Erie.

The wetland restoration strategy is just one component of the reduction plan, as there is not one all-encompassing solution to cutting the phosphorus levels. ODNR officials say that wetlands are key in their efforts, however, because what happens at the mouths of rivers discharging into the lake has big effects on the algal blooms that form in its western basin.

Top image: Old Woman Creek wetlands. (Credit: Fondriest Environmental)

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