Restoring Land to Improve Water Quality

Wetlands are some of the most biologically productive habitats on earth. They are also incredibly efficient at removing pollutants from the water. That’s why Black Swamp Conservancy has been working so hard in recent years to restore wetlands across northwest Ohio.

With the announcement of Governor Mike DeWine’s new H2Ohio initiative last summer, the State made a commitment to ensuring safe and clean water for all Ohioans. Naturally, wetland restoration is a key strategy for meeting this objective.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is taking the lead on wetland restorations under H2Ohio, and Black Swamp Conservancy has partnered with the agency on four important new projects. Engineering and design work is now underway, and we will be working hard to complete the restorations between now and next spring.

  • Red Horse Bend is a 92-acre property located on the Sandusky River just outside of the city of Fremont. The Conservancy purchased the property in 2015 and is now transforming the frequently flooded farmland back to functioning floodplain. When the restoration is completed, we will be giving the property to Sandusky County Park District for use as a public park.
  • At Forrest Woods Nature Preserve in Paulding County, we are working to create a series of wetlands along a headwater stream flowing to the Maumee River. This wetland series, known as a treatment train, will help capture nutrients, reduce erosion and restore headwater stream habitat.
  • At the St. Joseph’s River Confluence Preserve in Williams County, we are retiring 20 acres of farmland and restoring it back to natural habitat. This project will also improve a low diversity CRP field, significantly increasing habitat value and nutrient retention.
  • We recently purchased a second property on the St. Joseph River utilizing the H2Ohio program. This 95-acre property will be restored to a mix of floodplain forest and wetlands, with a small area being reserved for ecologically responsible small-scale agricultural use. A channelized drainage ditch on the property is also being repaired and returned to stream conditions.