Natural Resource Management
We value the support of the Erie County Commissioners and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Soil and Water Resources that provide our base funding to address resource concerns, drainage, and natural enhancement needs of our community. This partnership has strengthened since the District was formed in 1953, providing services that have improved the quality of life and economy though sound conservation.
In 2006, the Firelands Coastal Tributaries Watershed Program began with the award of a 4 year Ohio Department of Natural Resources Watershed Coordinator Grant. This grant allowed for a coordinator to be hired to initiate a community driven plan to reduce pollutants impacting the Old Woman Creek Watershed. The plan was develop and State endorsed in 2009 and has resulted in several thousand dollars in grants to improve water quality in the stream through conservation ditches, septic systems upgrades, and agricultural conservation practices. Since 2010, the ODNR Division of Wildlife, through the Old Woman Creek Reserve, saw value in continuing the success of the program and began to provide direct financial support. Today the program serves to improve the watersheds and nearshore zone of the Firelands area as well as provide support to the Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve.
To address the increasing issues of flooding and managing stormwater, the Erie County Commissioners and the Erie Conservation District collaborated with the communities required to follow the EPA’s Phase II rules. In 2011, the City of Sandusky, City of Huron, City of Vermilion, Village of Bayview, and Perkins and Margaretta Townships collaborated to financially support a coordinator to assist with the development and implementation of the Clean Water Coalition. Today, the partnering communities have worked together to reduce impacts of stormwater run-off through programs to monitor construction site run-off, reduce illicit discharges, improve stormwater design of new developments, address good housekeeping of government facilities, and educate and engage the public.
The health of our wildlife is important to the health, safety, and economy of our community. The Ohio Department of Natural Resource Division of Wildlife formally partners with the District to provide additional wildlife assistance to the resident and land users of Erie County. The Wildlife Specialist position at the District is responsible for addressing wildlife concerns including nuisance complaints to habitat improvements.
Agricultural Conservation Stewardship
The District has a long history in assisting our agricultural lands in being productive while working to protect and enhance the environment. Through our Federal partner, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Bill funds are made available to reduce pollutants, improve soil and water resources, and enhance wildlife habitat. Our District is proud to assist with the Lake Erie Conservation Enhancement Reserve Program (CREP) which has helped to installed filter strips and create wetlands to improve our streams and Lake Erie.
Citizen Science and Environmental Education
We work hard to engage our community in the wonders of science out your backdoor. Our partnerships with the Community Collaborative Rain and Hail Snow Network (COCORAHS) and Global Observations and Learning to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) create a unique opportunity to learn about weather and the environment through hands on citizen science shared on a national and global scale! Concerned about our Lake? We even offer a volunteer stream monitoring program that collects data to help your local community to its part for clean water. Learn about our other environmental programs here.