University Receives Grant for Swan Creek Restoration

October 27, 2023 | News, UToday, Alumni
By Tyrel Linkhorn



The University of Toledo will receive more than $242,000 to restore a half-mile section of Swan Creek on property it owns north of The University of Toledo Medical Center.

The project — part of a larger initiative being undertaken by the Great Lakes Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to restore Great Lakes coastal habitat — aims to reduce erosion and improve the habitat for fish and invertebrates.

Work calls for creating a shallow, 50-foot-long riffle zone, adding rock and anchored wood cover within the stream, and stabilizing about 1,700 feet of streambank against erosion. Crews also will remove a small section of invasive plants.

“The problems associated with this section of Swan Creek are similar to a lot of problems which you’ll see in creeks that have been urbanized,” said Tim Niederkorn, who is UToledo’s assistant director of environmental health and radiation safety and is leading the project. “This project is going to address those impairments and significantly improve the habitat for fish and aquatic invertebrates.”

The Great Lakes Commission’s most recent round of funding also included projects in Buffalo, New York and a separate project in Toledo to restore a section of Duck Creek in Collins Park.

UToledo’s Swan Creek restoration is the latest example of the University working to improve the natural habitat located within its campuses.

The largest such project centered on the 3,700-foot section of the Ottawa River that flows through Main Campus. Beginning in 2005, the nearly decade-long project by the President’s Commission on the River addressed environmental concerns to return the river to a major campus feature.

With funding from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others, the commission installed a dozen in-stream habitat features, improved flood control, removed hundreds of non-native plants and replaced them with native species.

The section of Swan Creek covered under the new grant is located in a 23-acre tract of land that is located just east of Swan Creek Metropark.

Niederkorn said the bid process for the project should launch this fall, with construction being completed by the third quarter of 2025.

 

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