The Oregon Flood Relief and Erosion Control Project (OFRECP) was constructed in 2013 – 2015 along the west side of Wynn Road and the south side of Cedar Point Road in Oregon. The project relocated Amolsch Driftmeyer Ditch around the BP Refinery and combined it with two other drainage systems, Johlin Ditch and Heckman Ditch. The project also filled in the former Heckman Ditch alignment along the west side of Wynn Road, which was causing road failures due to erosion. Because the project relocated and filled existing ditches, mitigation of these areas was required by Section 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act. The Army Corp of Engineers and Ohio EPA are responsible for governing these permits.
As part of the required mitigation, the OFRECP created 12.35 acres of Category 3 wetland (highest quality category wetland) directly adjacent to Maumee Bay / Lake Erie. The project also created 12,583 linear feet of warmwater habitat (WWH) quality stream. The shallow water emergent wetland community is densely vegetated with native Ohio plants that have created an exceptional habitat for birds, fish, and other animals.
OFRECP Wetland Channel – Norfolk Southern RR Culvert, Looking West, 8/18/2020
OFRECP Wetland Channel – Pickerel weed, Northern Blue Flag, Arrow arum, and Softstem bulrush pictured, Looking South, 8/18/2020
OFRECP Upland and Wetland Channel – Arrow arum in channel, Cup Plant, Little Bluestem, and Partridge Pea in upland areas pictured, Looking West, 8/18/2020
Upland areas were planted with a native Ohio prairie mix. Common plants seen in the upland areas include Cup Plant, Black Eyed Susan, Tall Coreopsis, Partridge Pea, Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indian Grass, Prairie Dropseed, and Wild Lupine.
OFRECP Upland Stream Bank – Partridge Pea and Little Bluestem pictured, Looking North, 8/18/2020
OFRECP Upland Stream Bank –Black Eye Susan pictured, Looking West, 7/20/2020
A fish survey conducted in the Fall of 2018 showed 28 different species of fish within the project area, included the Western Banded Killifish, which is an Ohio listed endangered species. Because of its shallow, warm, and vegetated waters, the project area has become an important breeding area for fish. It is also common to see Egrets, Blue Herons, and many different types of ducks in the wetland areas.
OFRECP 2017 Fish Survey – Western Banded Killifish, 10/20/2017
The entire project area has been placed in a conservation easement, to maintain and protect this property in perpetuity. The easement holder is the Black Swamp Conservancy, a local conservation land trust.
The City is currently working through the permit monitoring period required by the agencies. This period ensures that the project has been constructed to the performance standards that were set forth by the Section 404/401 permits. The City has continued annual maintenance of the areas by eradicating invasive species such as Phragmites (Phragmites australis) and Purple Loosetrife (Lythrum salicaria). This maintenance will likely continue even after the monitoring period has ended to maintain the exceptional habitat area.