The Erie Conservation District works hard to build partnerships and secure funding to increase stewardship on our land.

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Magee Marsh Pump Rehabilitation

Magee Marsh Pump Rehabilitation
Funding: GLRI through ODNR Division of Wildlife
Project Status: Completed 2022

Magee Marsh is part of a large 2200 wetland complex located near the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Ottawa County.  This project implemented the rehabilitation of a large pump structure that connected the main channel of Magee Marsh to Lake Erie.  The process began by partially demolishing the existing pump structure then expanding the site to add and additional pump to the system. This expansion increased the management capacity of the structure to allow for greater exchange water in and out of the wetland complex.  The greater exchange of water will allow the marsh to serve as a treatment site for removing nutrients and sediment from our Lake.  In addition to water quality benefits, fish passage structures were added to structure to improve access of the wetland by local fish species. 

Pipe Creek Wetland Restoration (Phase 1)

Pipe Creek Wetland Restoration (Phase 1)
Funding: GLRI through ODNR Office of Coastal Management
Project Status: Completed 2021

This project was initiated by the determination of local resident, Wanda Valli, who simply wanted to restore a wetland she saw degrade before her eyes for decades.   It took nearly 15 years to get here, but though the help of volunteers, funders, and conservation agencies working together the enhancement of the coastal zone of the Pipe Creek watershed is finally becoming a reality. In the first phase of this project, a large opening was made in a manmade berm to improve the bi-directional flow that is common in coastal wetlands.  This, followed by extensive removal of decades of dumping of soil, construction debris, trash, and slag.  Over 70 large dump trucks of material was removed to make way for replanting the site with native hard wood trees.  Control efforts began in 2019 for removing the invasive plant Phragmites from the emergent wetland, which later was revegetated through nearshore and floating wetland plantings.  A combination of 76 biodegradeable floating wetlands upcycled from used wooden pallets were fashioned into 15 floating islands and 6 permanent Biohaven floating wetlands were planted and installed along the west side of the wetland.  In addition to the floating wetlands, over 2,000 native wetland plugs installed in nearshore “nursery” areas to jumpstart the revegetation of the site.  

Turtle Creek Wetland Reconnection
Turtle Creek Wetland Reconnection Funding: H2Ohio through ODNR Division of Wildlife Project Status: Completed 2021
This project reconnects 173 acres of wetland habitat to Lake Erie and Turtle Creek allowing the system to filter nutrients from an approximately 26,560 acre (41.5 square mile) watershed.  To accomplish this, two large water control structures were installed into a levee along Turtle Creek to facilitate the capture of water from the surrounding water bodies.  The structures will allow management of the water level in the wetland unit during agricultural runoff events or high seiche events (wind driven tides) from Lake Erie to allow the wetland to serve as a treatment site.  The two structures are over one mile apart, which creates a pass-through system by diverting water from Turtle Creek into the wetland unit at one structure before exiting out another. This project also included repairs needed on the levee separating the wetland unit from the creek.  This repair was important to maintain the vegetation needed to provide filtering and habitat functions of the wetland. 
Moxley Marsh Wetland Reconnection
Moxley Marsh Wetland Reconnection Funding: H2Ohio through ODNR Division of Wildlife Project Status: In Progress 
This project will reconnect 57 acres of emergent wetland to Sandusky Bay, near the Village of Bay View. The new connection will include fish passageways/water control structures at the northwest corner of the unit which will allow free water exchange between the wetland and the Bay when water levels are at the correct level.  With this connection, the marsh help to remove nutrients from the Bay water as the water is exchanged between the two systems.  In addition to the installation of a water control structure to reconnect the wetland to the lake, substantial rehabilitation of the levee will also be completed to protect the wetland.  Over 3,000 linear feet of levee will be rehabilitated through earthen and rock stabilization techniques to improve integrity and reduce erosion.
Sanford Ditch Treatment Train

Sanford Ditch Treatment Train
Funding: H2Ohio through ODNR Division of Wildlife
Project Status: In Progress 

Sanford Ditch drains approximately 495 acres of agricultural land in Margaretta Township of Erie County.  In the mid 1960’s the ditch was channelized, which cut off potential connection to coastal wetlands in the area and facilitated drainage directly to Sandusky Bay.  With current high water, farmers and residents within this basin have experienced reduced drainage and even flooding which facilitates the release of phosphorus from the soil profile potentially increase contributions to Lake Erie. The project consist of a “treatment train” of practices including the creation of 680 linear foot overwide ditch and 2 acre wetland to serve as initial pretreatment then reconnect the ditch to Sanford Marsh via pump structure.  The combination of conservation ditch with treatment wetland will provide drainage relief to the local landowner’s while helping to prevent nutrients and sediment from entering Lake Erie.