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Restoring wetlands and stream banks at the Bath Nature Preserve
The Bath Nature Preserve contains over 400 acres of undeveloped land, but portions of the stream bank have eroded, and many years ago wetlands were drained for farming activities.
Bath Township has entered into an agreement with Oxbow River and Streams, Inc. for a stream bank and wetlands restoration project involving 40 acres in total. Funding is to come from a 319 grant through the Ohio EPA, with an in-kind contribution of services from Bath Township. Field assessment and design are scheduled for the Summer and Fall of 2007. Construction is scheduled for the Summer of 2008.
90% of wetlands in Ohio have been lost. Ohio is second only to California in the loss of wetlands.1 The majority of the remaining wetlands are in northeastern Ohio. “Wetlands act as natural sponges that trap, filter and slowly release rain, snowmelt, and storm water runoff. Trees, root mats, and other wetland vegetation also slow the speed of flood waters and distribute them more slowly over the floodplain.”2 Wetlands also replenish groundwater by holding the water and allowing it to soak into the ground.
Stream bank erosion can lead to a “channelized” or straightened stream, which then accelerates the flow of the water and the rate of continuing erosion, and puts downstream neighbors at a greater risk of flooding. Channelized streams also reduce the volume of water absorption in the floodplain.
Restoration of the identified stream banks and wetlands is aimed to reduce erosion and improve the overall water quality in the Yellow Creek watershed.
1 Deni Porej, The Nature
Conservancy, at Ohio Botanical Symposium, March 31, 2006, Columbus, Ohio.
National Audubon Society, Great Lakes Region, "Ohio Wetland Facts" series,
"Why Protect Wetlands?", 1998.
2 “Protecting Drinking Water in the Cuyahoga,” Cuy. R. RAP, Guide No. 5 in American Heritage River series.