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Addition of natural habitat features completes Ottawa River restoration project

Large rocks, logs and other natural materials are being added to the Ottawa River on the main campus of The University of Toledo as the final phase of a restoration effort of the waterway.

The latest improvements began last month with clearing the riverbanks and removing non-native invasive plants by student workers with the Maumee Corp from Partners for Clean Streams. Crews with Ecological Restoration Inc. are now working in the river with heavy equipment moving large materials into place in the water for aquatic habitat.

Ottawa River

The final phase of restoration of the 2,700 feet of the Ottawa River that runs UT Main Campus is expected to be complete by Aug. 12.

“This phase will focus on aquatic improvements, including adding large rocks and logs to mimic natural water flow and get a ripple effect in the water,” said Dr. Patrick Lawrence, professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Planning, and chair of the President’s Commission on the River.

“Right now the river is essentially uniform with very limited ripples or turbulence. Adding these natural materials will also make for more diversity to the aquatic habitat giving fish and other aquatic organisms more places for nesting, spawning, food and shelter.”

A photo and media opportunity will be noon Friday, Aug. 9 on the bank of the Ottawa River behind Savage Area. Parking will be available in lot 3.

Crews will be working in the river allowing for opportunities to view and tour the work completed to that date and officials involved with the restoration will be available for interviews, including Dr. Lawrence; Matt Horvat, Maumee River coordinator with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments; David Derrick, research hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Dave Hales, president of Ecological Restoration.

The restoration is funded with a $235,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and a $151,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The project also involves the assistance of Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, EnviroScience, Partners for Clean Streams, Ohio EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The restoration work for the 2,700 feet of the waterway that runs through Main Campus is expected to be complete by Aug. 12.

For more information on this project visit or contact

Media Coverage
WNWO, WTOL 11 and 13 ABC (Aug. 13, 2013)
The Independent Collegian (Aug. 14, 2013)
The Blade (Aug. 18, 2013)

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