COLUMBUS, OHIO – As part of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio
initiative [1], the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)
announced today that it will partner with the Medina County Park
District to help eliminate toxic algal blooms in Chippewa Lake, Ohio’s
largest glacial lake.

“Through this new partnership, the Chippewa Lake Wetland Restoration
Project will restore more than 20 acres of wetlands in Medina County,
including the site of the former Chippewa Lake Amusement Park,” said
Governor DeWine. “This property will be transformed into a public park
and functioning wetland that will capture nutrients that otherwise feed
algal blooms in Chippewa Lake.”

The project, which spans three sites in Lafayette and Westfield
Townships, will be funded through the H2Ohio initiative and led by the
park district.

“Collaborations like the one we now have with the Medina County Park
District are a key part of what is making H2Ohio a success,” ODNR
Director Mary Mertz said. “The support and assistance of our partners
allows us to extend the momentum of H2Ohio and strengthen its impact
across the state.”

“Chippewa Lake Amusement Park once attracted visitors from far and wide
to the shores of Ohio’s largest natural inland lake, and we are excited
that this site will once again be an area for public recreation when it
is reborn as a conservation-focused public park,” Medina County Park
District Board of Commissioners member Andrew J. de Luna said. “There is
a lot of work ahead, but this funding from H2Ohio dramatically
accelerates the timeline for making it happen.”

The project will focus on diverting water from the Chippewa inlet into
more than half a mile of newly restored stream channel to reduce
nutrients flowing into the lake, including more than twenty acres of
restored wetlands, and will add two acres of restored wetlands geared
toward public outreach and educational opportunities for visitors to
learn the benefits of these projects.

“Our H2Ohio project will not only benefit Medina County, but also
everyone who lives downstream,” said Medina County Park District
Director Nathan D. Eppink. “The return on this significant investment
by H2Ohio will be exponential.”

The Chippewa Lake Wetland Restoration Project is expected to cost $1.52
million. It is expected to be complete in December 2023.

This project joins dozens of other H2Ohio wetland projects underway
right now including the Redhorse Bend Preserve in Sandusky County, the
Forder Bridge Project in Paulding County, the Fruth Wetland Nature
Preserve in Seneca County, the St. Joseph Confluence Reconnection and
the St. Joseph River Floodplain Restoration in Williams County, the Van
Order Wetland and Forest Restoration in Henry County, the wetland area
east of the Andreoff Wildlife Area in Wyandot County, Sandusky
Headwaters Preserve in Crawford County, and the Oakwoods Nature Preserve
in Hancock County.

Launched by Governor Mike DeWine in 2019, H2Ohio is a collaborative
water quality effort to provide clean and safe water to Ohio. The Ohio
Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency each has a significant role in
H2Ohio through the natural infrastructure of wetlands, the reduction in
nutrient runoff, and increasing access to clean drinking water and
quality sewer systems. To learn more, visit h2.ohio.gov [2].

The Medina County Park District, established in 1965, connects people
with nature through education and conservation, managing more than 7,500
acres that include 18 parks and preserves, almost 50 trails, Susan
Hambley Nature Center, and Wolf Creek Environmental Center.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural
resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Stephanie O’Grady, ODNR Office of Communications

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