The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the City of Port Clinton, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have joined together to restore 12 acres and add another 1.4 acres of coastal wetlands on Lake Erie.
According to Chris Akios, Ecologist and Project Manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Buffalo District: “Coastal wetlands along the Great Lakes provide important feeding opportunities to migrating birds. They often utilize coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes much in the way vacationers fuel up at the last gas station before an isolated stretch of their journey.”
Funding for the project has been a little tricky, added Akios.
Initiated in 2016 at the behest of Mayor Wheeler, complete restoration of the wetlands is expected to cost around $1.2 million.
Around $780 thousand will come from the federal government; the remainder will be shared by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Port Clinton.
“We had the idea to go through the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program for some of the necessary funding,” Akios said. “We saw this as a new opportunity for OEPA and the Corps to combine resources with local stakeholders in support of restoration in Ohio.”
“Our share is $91K,” said Port Clinton’s Mayor Hugh Wheeler. “Around $266K will come from OEPA, and the rest will come from the Corps.”
Wheeler also pointed out that the overall feeling among Port Clinton residents is very positive, particularly those people who own homes adjacent to the wetland site.