Streambank Stabilization for Ohio AOC's
Cuyahoga, Black, and Maumee AOC's,
Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Basin Program Funds:
There is a need in Ohio's Areas of Concern (AOCs) for expertise to target, design,
and implement streambank stabilization and habitat restoration projects. Skilled
resource people can be found in a variety of government agencies, academic institutions
and the private sector. However, it is often difficult to assemble the cross
section of skills necessary to plan and design these projects. The project utilized
the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) multi-disciplinary Stream Team
approach as a basis for building a larger network of cooperators in the region.
In addition to the RAP community, other groups interested in water quality improvements
through erosion control benefited from the experience and information exchange
which resulted from the project.
The goal of the project was to strengthen sediment reduction efforts in the
Lake Erie basin by establishing a protocol and a regional/state pool of expertise
for strategically implementing streambank and habitat restoration projects in
Ohio AOCs. The protocol facilitated the strategic and skilled implementation
of Remedial Action Plan (RAP) recommendations for streambank stabilization and
habitat restoration. The protocol and expertise pool were developed as demonstration
projects designed and installed in three of Ohio's four AOCs. Installation was
followed by a workshop for the RAP committees and other Lake Erie basin groups
to promote the use of the interdisciplinary process and stabilization techniques.
A core team of three Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
(OEPA) staff and seven ODNR staff assembled and drafted a guidance document
for stream habitat restoration, which included criteria for setting priorities
on stabilization/enhancement projects. Agreements were reached with four landowners
to construct, maintain, and evaluate biotechnical projects and to conduct guided
tours at pre-arranged times. The landowners agreed to long term (minimum ten
years) maintenance on the projects.
Project teams and volunteers, ranging from 20 to 40 people, from
the Cuyahoga, Black, and Maumee RAPs constructed 4 biotechnical projects at
the following sites: restoration of 200 linear feet at Swan Creek Metro Park
(Maumee AOC); restoration of 102 linear feet at Tinkers Creek in a Cleveland
Electric and Illuminating right-of-way (Cuyahoga AOC); and restoration of 507
linear feet bordering Indian Hollow Lake Golf Course and Black River Reservation
(Black River AOC). The teams involved professionals and volunteers from federal,
state, and local agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations.
A total of 809 linear feet of streambank were restored.
The projects will be evaluated annually by the Ohio DNR and Ohio
EPA during spring high flow and autumn low flow periods to ensure stability
and determine maintenance needs. The landowners will also submit a report annually
to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (copying ODNR and OEPA) outlining the revetment
condition and any maintenance performed.
The restored sites have been cataloged in a file of biotechnical projects constructed
in the state. The file is housed at the Ohio DNR, Division of Water. The information
is being used to develop a Stream Management Guide fact sheet that will identify
each project's location, elements, and a contact person for site visits. Two
stream management guides were produced and printed, and illustrations for evergreen
revetment and fascine construction fact sheets were created. The equipment purchased
to conduct site restorations is available for use on future biotechnical work
in the RAP areas and the Lake Erie basin. Two kits of equipment are housed at
the Ohio EPA Northeast District Office for primary use by the Cuyahoga, Black
and Ashtabula RAP communities. One kit is housed at the Ohio EPA Northwest District
Office for primary use with the Maumee RAP, and one kit is housed at the ODNR
Division of Water for use by ODNR staff-supported projects, primarily in the
Ohio River Basin.
The construction training sessions created a high level of enthusiasm
and feeling of accomplishment for the RAP workgroup members. Several of the
local newspapers covered the projects, including the Toledo Blade (circulation
of 332,943), Elyria Ohio's Chronicle-Telegram (circulation of 56,746), and two
articles in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (circulation of 505,616), bringing the
message of erosion reduction and habitat restoration to a large audience. Many
workgroup members and other participants are now comfortable with the concepts
and are planning additional projects. Landowners have approached participants
about applying these practices on their land, and the Black and Cuyahoga RAPs
are moving toward more comprehensive habitat restoration strategies and landowner
Although the demonstrations will result in reduced rates of soil
loss at the four remediated sites (809 linear feet in total), the net effect
for the watersheds will be minimal. The successes of this project were providing
the skills necessary to reproduce the installation of biotechnical practices
and producing an understanding of where future efforts can be most beneficial
considering the modified hydrology of these watersheds.
Contact: Margo Fulmer, (419) 399-4771