In Stream Restoration Projects
Riparian Corridor Protection:
A number of riparian corridor protection efforts are underway in Ohio in which the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife works in several different collaborative partnerships, each composed of both governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Most of these partnerships seek protection through a series of acquisitions and easements. Restoration efforts currently underway focus on the Kokosing River, Pymatuning Creek, Grand River, Clear Creek, and Big and Little Darby Creeks.
Partners: Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, The Nature Conservancy, Knox, Fairfield, and Franklin County Metroparks, Ashtabula County Soil and Water Conservation District, and other governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
Man has been straightening streams for hundreds of years to accommodate roads, residential and commercial development, and drainage. The problem is that streams were not meant to be straight and trying to tame them through channelization usually results in negative impacts to habitat and aquatic diversity. Luckily, the straight is better mentality has changed and there is an effort underway to fix past impacts. One such restoration project is on Mac-O-Chee Creek in Logan County. This project restored 1,500 feet of channelized stream.
Mac-O-Chee Creek is a tributary of the Mad River and a rare cold water system in the state. The Ohio Division of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife is working with Piatt Castles, an adjacent historic location receiving substantial visitation, to move a one-quarter mile stretch of the stream from a roadside to an adjacent field. This restoration will benefit both the state- threatened tonguetied minnow and brown trout. Learn more about Mac-O-Chee Creek restoration.
Partners: Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and Piatt Castles
Alternate Cattle Water Sources:
It has been a common practice to allow cattle access to streams for water. The problem is that cattle in streams can negatively impact stream habitat and the aquatic organisms. Cattle can degrade stream banks, add organic waste to the stream, and trample aquatic organisms like freshwater mussels. There is a simple solution to this problem that has been effectively used around the state. By fencing out cattle and providing an alternate water source out of the stream channel, the stream will recover over time and aquatic diversity will rebound.
The ODNR, Division of Wildlife has worked with several Soil and Water Conservation Districts to exclude cattle from rivers and streams and develop alternate water sources for their use.
Partners: Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
Man has been building dams for hundreds of years to accommodate a variety of needs, including flood control, water source, hydropower, and recreation. Many of these dams still serve a useful purpose and need to remain. Many others no longer serve a useful purpose and the best option for many of these dams is removal. Dams negatively impact stream habitat and aquatic diversity by lowering water quality, preventing the movement of fish, and altering stream habitat. There has been an effort recently to start removing dams and restoring streams back to the way they were. Many of these removal projects have restored stream habitat and allowed for the recovery of aquatic life.