Black Swamp Conservancy recently finalized the purchase of a new 140-acre nature preserve in Williams County. The St. Joseph’s Confluence Preserve takes its name from the east and west branches of the river, which converge on the property.
This purchase was made possible by a grant from Ohio EPA’s Wetland and Riparian Resource Sponsorship Program, which seeks to counter the loss of ecological function and biological diversity that jeopardize the health of Ohio’s water resources.
The new preserve contains extensive floodplain and high-quality wooded wetlands that are home to at least five rare species, including two which are federally listed – the threatened Copperbelly Water Snake and endangered Clubshell mussel.
About 40 acres of the property, which have been in agricultural use, are set to be restored to natural habitat in 2020.