News Releases from Region 05
For Immediate Release No. 18-OPA29
CHICAGO − (June 26, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $300,000 to the Metropolitan Park District of the Toledo Area to restore 32 acres of wet prairie within the Maumee River Area of Concern.
“EPA is proud to invest in a project that will restore important habitat – benefitting Toledo families and communities,” said Regional Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager Cathy Stepp. “Today’s grant illustrates the value of partnerships in restoring the Great Lakes.”
“Creating experiences that connect people to nature is an important part of the work we do as conservationists,” said Metroparks Toledo Executive Director Dave Zenk. “This acquisition and restoration project involves properties within the Oak Openings Corridor, one of the most diverse ecoregions in Ohio. The corridor connects five of our Metroparks as well as three state nature preserves, providing habitat for wildlife and access for people.”
Through this project, Metroparks Toledo will acquire property in the designated Irwin Wet Prairie Priority Conservation Area in the Oak Openings Region and implement habitat enhancement activities, including site cleanup and invasive species removal.
Afterwards, the tracts will be permanently protected by Metroparks Toledo and managed to maintain high-quality oak openings, benefitting the species that rely on this habitat.
This funding was made available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The GLRI was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes. EPA has funded more than 900 projects to address GLRI’s highest priorities: cleaning up highly-contaminated “areas of concern,” reducing nutrient runoff, combating invasive species and restoring habitat.
A portion of the Maumee River watershed was designated as an Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, with environmental problems primarily due to sediment contamination and agricultural runoff.