Oak Openings Preserve wetland remediation

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SWANTON, Ohio (WTVG) – We’re always tracking the algal bloom here in northwest Ohio. Restoration projects are working to keep these blooms in check.

“Water is life. We know water is life. Making sure we improve the quality of our water goes a long way toward improving the quality of our lives,” said LaRae Sprow, natural resources supervisor at Metroparks Toledo.

There is a sandy bottom at the corner of State Route 64 and the Airport Highway in Swanton. It may not look like much from the road, but nature is in bloom beyond the tree line.

“In the state of Ohio, we’ve lost over 90 percent of our wetlands, that’s a huge number,” says Sprow.

Metroparks is working to restore these wetlands that naturally have clean water. The agency has already had success with Howard Marsh and hopes that the Swanton location can be just as beautiful and effective at some point.

The project is funded by the H2Ohio Initiative, which is committed to improving water quality by funding hundreds of remediation projects across the state.

“In northwest Ohio, these projects are really aimed at improving the water quality of the entire Lake Erie basin … algal blooms are a big problem. Lake Erie is an important economic resource. It’s a huge fishery, ”says Sprow.

These former farmers in Swanton may be twenty miles from the lake, but that is where the runoff from these roads will arrive.

“If you follow the water, it ends up in the Maumee River and eventually in Lake Erie,” says Sprow.

Metroparks will seed the area in the spring, and around that time next year the site should be home to new wildlife.

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