Mercer County recently received a grant to restore a section of Beaver Creek. The project will slow the flow of water and allow more nutrients to drop out before it reaches Grand Lake St. Marys.
From Ag Solutions Coordinator Theresa Dirksen:
Mercer County was the recipient of a $300,000 Ohio EPA 319 grant to restore approximately 3,000 lineal feet of stream in the Grand Lake St. Marys Watershed. The stream being restored is a section of the west branch of Beaver Creek, and the upstream watershed of the proposed project is approximately 2,500 acres.
The West Branch of Beaver Creek is ditched and maintained for agricultural drainage. The stream is currently in poor condition with severe channel incision, poor substrate quality, stagnant glide-like low flow characteristics, poor floodplain, and poor buffer diversity and density. The goals of the West Branch Beaver Creek Stream Restoration Project are:
1) to return the ditch to a functional stream with an accessible floodplain and
2) to provide an ecosystem that would meet a use designation of warmwater habitat water quality criteria. The project will restore the section of stream to a more natural channel design within 8.2 acres of active riparian floodplain. This will create a treatment zone for nutrient assimilation within the Beaver Creek watershed. The 8.2 acres will be protected under a conservation easement to ensure that the project is maintained as intended.
Project design and permitting will be completed in 2018 and early 2019. Project construction will occur in 2019. Tours of the site will be held in the spring of 2020, at which time the project will be complete.
All surveying, design, permitting and construction oversight will be done by Ag Solutions, Mercer SWCD and Mercer County Community and Economic Development. A contractor will be hired to complete the construction through the county’s competitive bidding process. Several local organizations, companies and the landowner are also contributing to the project through various forms of match. The total project is valued at $510,908.