MWCD approves grants for watershed improvement projects
Several projects around the communities of the Muskingum River Watershed will feature improvements in flood reduction, water quality and watershed education through grants from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD).
The MWCD’s “Partners in Watershed Management” grant program will provide an estimated $200,000 this year to assist with projects that were considered through a competitive application process. The Partners in Watershed Management program was developed in 2009 by the MWCD to assist local groups, organizations and communities in implementing water quality projects, flood reduction and mitigation programs, and watershed education efforts throughout the 18-county MWCD region.
“This is the second full year that the MWCD has offered the Partners in Watershed Management program grants and our staff is very pleased with the quality of the applications that we have received,” said Boris E. Slogar, MWCD’s chief engineer. “There is a growing awareness of how important a healthy watershed is for a community’s quality of life. The MWCD is committed to assisting worthy projects in the Muskingum River Watershed.”
Project awards approved recently by the MWCD include:
* Muskingum County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD), $50,000 as part of an $89,981 project for the development of an interactive mobile watershed and conservation education trailer that can be transported to various locations. Other partners involved in the project include Zane State University, Cincinnati Museum Center and Union Terminal, Guernsey County SWCD, Coshocton County SWCD, Perry County SWCD and the City of Zanesville.
* Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership in Carroll and Tuscarawas counties, $10,475 as part of a $23,355 environmental education project that includes a field trip series, watershed awareness community festival, watershed tours, environmental children’s club and newsletters. Other partners involved in the project include the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Mineral Resource Management, Carroll and Tuscarawas County SWCD offices, Norma Johnson Center, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Tuscarawas County Health Department and Sunday Creek Watershed Group.
* Friends of Lower Muskingum River (FLMR), $28,000 as part of a $140,000 watershed management plan development for the region including Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Washington counties. The MWCD grant will provide the required matching funds for FLMR to obtain a grant of $112,000 from ODNR.
* FLMR, $20.000 as part of a $45,000 project to cap two leaking orphan oil wells along Cabin Run in Morgan County, a tributary of the Muskingum River. The U.S. Coast Guard has agreed to award the remaining $25,000 for this work, which will stop the flow of oil directly into the stream, improving water quality in the region and eliminating a foul odor and unsightly seepage from the well.
* Muskingum Valley Park District in Muskingum County, $47,000 as a portion of a $103,531 project to implement stormwater runoff best management practices in a highly visible urban residential development at Zanesville. The 50-acre area will include the installation of rain gardens, broad-based dips and a retention pond and will serve as a demonstration site for educational tours and research. Other partners involved in the project are the City of Zanesville and the Muskingum County SWCD office.
* YMCA Stark County, which operates Camp Tippecanoe on a portion of property owned by the camp and a portion owned by the MWCD at Clendening Reservoir in Harrison County, $25,000 as part of the $249,000 cost to replace an aging and poorly functioning wastewater treatment plant that discharges directly into the lake. The camp, which opened in 1958, offers a wide variety of camp and outdoor educational programs. Other partners involved in funding the project are the Hoover Price Foundation, the Northern Ohio Golf Charities and Foundation, and the Game Reserve Association.
* Ohio Lake Management Association, $24,600 as part of a $56,036 water quality monitoring program that includes testing at several MWCD reservoirs. The MWCD also participated in the program in 2010 by providing funding and personnel to conduct testing.
* “Besides the obvious benefits that can be seen by all of the partners involved with these projects, there also are benefits to the entire system of dams and reservoirs in the Muskingum River Watershed,” Slogar said. “Clean water and education are a benefit to the environment in our watershed, and help to improve healthy lifestyles for our residents.”
The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $8 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government. The reservoirs are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
For more information about the MWCD, visit www.mwcd.org.
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