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BUI 1 Recommended for Removal

BUI 1 Recommended for Removal

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA are recommending the removal of BUI 1, Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption, in the Maumee Area of Concern.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA made this recommendation because the conditions now meet restoration criteria that include fish and wildlife consumption in all waters of the Maumee AOC. This means the fish and wildlife meet safe consumption thresholds used by the Ohio Department of Health in the Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory. Written comments on proposed BUI 1 removal will be accepted through August 5 and can be emailed to Cherie Blair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


From the recommendation summary:

“All fish species in all waters of the Maumee AOC have been identified as safe to consume at a frequency of one meal per month, or less restrictive, thus meeting the BUI Restoration Target for fish.

“Snapping turtle muscle (meat) in the Ottawa River of the Maumee AOC are below the contaminant levels designated as safe to consume at a frequency of one meal per month or less restrictive, thus meeting the BUI Restoration Target for wildlife, even though an advisory remains as a precaution to minimize the possible exposure risk to contaminated fat bodies while cleaning/preparing snapping turtles for consumption.”

BUI 1 is the second beneficial use impairment to be recommended for removal among the initial 10 BUIs identified as impaired in the Maumee AOC. The first was BUI 12, Added Costs to Agriculture or Industry, which was removed in 2015.

Project Feature: Prairie Ditch Restoration at Secor Metropark

Project Feature: Prairie Ditch Restoration at Secor Metropark

Metroparks Toledo is working to improve a section of Prairie Ditch within the expanded boundary of Secor Metropark, addressing BUI 6 (Degradation of Benthos), and BUI 14a (Loss of Fish Habitat). Secor Metropark includes over 600 acres of Oak Openings habitat in areas currently open to the public, containing walking trails, a visitors’ center, and picnic areas.

The Secor Metropark expansion project began in 2020 when two former golf courses were purchased by Metroparks Toledo. Restoration work on the Secor expansion is a large undertaking composed of many smaller projects wholly supported by different grant funding mechanisms.

AOC funding supported purchasing an important piece of the property and in adding habitat through upland vegetation. Additional AOC funding added a new focus for the AOC as an aquatic habitat project that will restore approximately 3,500 feet of instream habitat. Stream improvements include floodplain expansion, creation of streamside wetlands within the floodplain, riffle construction (shallow places where water runs fast and is agitated by rocks), and selective planting of native trees, shrubs, and other plants. Management practices include restoring natural curves to the waterway while creating shallower streambanks to promote bank stabilization and re-connection to the floodplain. These earthworks decrease the negative effects of past stream channelization, and prevent loss of sediment due to erosion, maintaining the character of the habitat for years to come.

As of the end of July 2022, most of the work on and along Prairie Ditch is complete, with just a little more planting and seeding and cleanup work to be finished this fall. Although the area is not yet open to the public, in several years, the former golf courses will be transformed through restored stream channels, new floodplains, wetland and pond areas, prairie and woodlot areas, and thriving wildlife as an expanded portion of Secor Metropark.

Aquatic MAPs Funded and Underway

DMDS 5.0

Of 35 Aquatic MAP (management action plan) projects, 13 are fully funded, 13 have funding allocated, and 3 have funding pending allocation. Funding will be requested for 3 more projects in late May and a few more have future anticipated funding requests in 2023. Aquatic MAP projects focus on BUIs directly associated with water quality: BUI 3a (Degradation of Fish Populations), BUI 6 (Degradation of Benthos), and BUI 14a (Loss of Fish Habitat.)

Several of these projects achieved full funding late last year and are getting underway now. In this edition of our newsletter, we’ll take a closer look at an Aquatic MAP project that was funded in 2021 and is getting underway this year in the Maumee AOC.


Project Feature: Wolf Creek Restoration at the Oregon Recreational Complex

Wolf Creek Restoration at Oregon Rec Complex

The City of Oregon selected a stretch of Wolf Creek adjacent to the Oregon Recreational Complex for stream restoration, addressing BUI 6 (Degradation of Benthos), and BUI 14a (Loss of Fish Habitat.) This section of Wolf Creek is less than a mile from Pearson Metropark and only three miles from its mouth into Lake Erie. Improvement of Wolf Creek’s stream morphology will foster new instream habitat for fish and benthos. Additional improvements will benefit adjacent floodplain and wetland habitat.

The project’s objectives include improving 5,300 feet of streambank through regrading and vegetating, improving sinuosity (curves and bends) of the stream channel, restoring approximately 3.5 acres of floodplain habitat, and install 2.5 acres of riparian buffer. These improvements are expected to collect and slow runoff from 36 acres. The improved natural area will also provide more opportunities for passive recreation.

In July 2021, the City of Oregon received a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant from the US EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO.) In February of this year, the City of Oregon selected Mannik and Smith Group to provide professional services to design the stream restoration. Project construction will be competitively bid following final design, and construction is expected to begin in spring of 2023.

If you’re interested to learn more about this project’s history and current status, Don Nelson, Environmental Specialist with the City of Oregon, will present in more detail at the quarterly MAAC meeting on June 9th.

2021 Reflection: Dozens of MAPs Funded and Finished

Work on a completed 2021 project: Otter Creek Habitat Restoration

We’re proud to share that last year was a busy one for management action projects (MAPs), with lots of progress to report. Out of 80 total MAPs, 56 (70%) have funding fully allocated, with a further 7 (9%) partially funded. By the end of 2021, 24 projects (30%) were completed, the plurality of which were Wildlife MAPs. Many more projects have a projected completion in 2022-2023. Let’s dig into some details to celebrate what we’ve accomplished, and what we have to look forward to in 2022.

Wildlife MAP Updates (BUI 14b)
All 20 Wildlife MAPs are funded. As of the end of 2021, 11 projects are completed, totaling 716 acres. These include restoration work at Hight Wetland, Hight Prairie, and Toussaint State Wildlife Area. 9 more projects are projected to be completed in 2022-2023.

Aquatic MAP Updates (BUI 3a, 6, 14a)
Of 51 Aquatic MAPs, 32 are funded, 2 are partially funded, and 17 still need funding. Several projects achieved full funding in September 2021, and are getting underway now. 9 projects were completed as of the end of 2021.

Sediment MAP Updates (BUI 3, 6, 14)
Out of 8 Sediment MAP areas, 3 next steps are fully funded and 5 are partially funded. The remedial and habitat portion of the Otter Creek Great Lakes Legacy Act project was completed in Fall 2021, which began with the removal of 50,400 cubic yards of contaminated sediment across 1.7 miles. From there, partners undertook habitat restoration involving the creation of six bendway weirs and six locked brush-piles, as well as planting 1200 willow stakes. Several other sediment projects are in various stages of sampling, reporting, and monitoring.

Looking Ahead
In 2022 the MAAC expects to propose the removal of BUI 1a and 1b “Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption” and BUI 11 “Degradation of Aesthetics.” Years of effort by many partners have gone into completing the management actions associated with these BUIs.

More detailed MAP updates, plus information on Ohio AOC program project funding and prioritization can be found on our website, through a presentation created by Cherie Blair of Ohio EPA. Look for the presentation as a PDF linked in the “Resources” section.

The Maumee AOC Committee works toward fishable and swimmable waters in the Maumee Area of Concern and delisting the beneficial use impairments. The Committee is working towards all major restoration projects being completed by 2025, through collaboration of partners and volunteer opportunities by its facilitating organization, Partners for Clean Streams. The committee is made up of representatives from various organizations, citizens, businesses and non-government agencies to build long term solutions to the area’s water quality issues.