Clark and Delaware/Horseshoe Islands Restoration Projects
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, City of Toledo, and the Maumee AOC Advisory Committee (MAAC), with significant input from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA), are leading planning efforts to help improve water quality and aquatic habitat while helping to restore and protect Clark Island and Delaware/Horseshoe Islands. These islands are in the Maumee River near Walbridge Park and are owned by the City of Toledo.
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority recently received funding from the H2Ohio program and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to complete engineering, design, and permit preparation activities for work at and near the islands. Plans for H2Ohio-funded activities are focused on nutrient reduction through sediment settlement and plant uptake. GLRI-funded planning activities are focused on improving habitat for fish and benthos (small organisms that live on the river bottom). Island habitat in the Maumee River is particularly important for the prosperity of fish and benthos.
Engineering and design activities are being completed under the direction of the collaborating agencies and are led by engineers and scientists at Verdantas (fka Hull & Associates, LLC), with input from several specialists, including modeling experts at LimnoTech and biologists at the University of Toledo. Plans for the Delaware/Horseshoe Islands advance the preliminary design prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2021-2022. These designs incorporated significant stakeholder input from earlier public outreach.
H2Ohio-funded engineering, design, and permit preparation activities are planned for completion in December 2022; GLRI-funded plans are anticipated to be finished in spring 2023. If work is recommended to proceed by the project partners based on final plan details, cost estimates, and stakeholder feedback, construction could begin as early 2023 or 2024, pending secured permits and construction funding.
Planned Project Benefits
- Reduced sedimentation and nutrient loading in Maumee River and Lake Erie and resulting water quality improvements
- Improved habitat for fish, benthos (organisms that live on and near the river bottom), and other species
- Protected and enhanced island and shoreline habitat
- Reducing further island erosion
- Creating resilience in ecological systems to withstand higher and more variable river flows
- Protecting existing park and recreational boating infrastructure