5 selected to receive funding from MWCD 'Partners in Watershed Management' program

April 28, 2010

Five applicants that will provide watershed improvements in the Muskingum River Basin will receive funding assistance this year from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District’s (MWCD) “Partners in Watershed Management” grant program.


Members of the MWCD Board of Directors have approved grants totaling $243,682 for the projects, which will provide benefits not only in the communities they serve, but also in the entire 18-county MWCD region, according to Boris E. Slogar, MWCD chief engineer.


Programs selected to receive funding are the following:


Village of Brewster (Stark County) - $116,079 to assist with the installation of new lining for sewer conduit under Brewster Levee, which is estimated to cost a total $185,184. Repair of these sewer lines will help ensure the structural integrity and flood-worthiness of the levee to protect homes and businesses in the village.


Ohio Lake Management Society (entire Muskingum River Watershed region) - $85,685 for citizen lake awareness and monitoring partnership program with Ohio Lake Management Society, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the MWCD. This program will train citizen volunteers to collect water quality samples from the MWCD reservoirs and other inland lakes to assist in maintaining the overall health of these valuable water resources. Total project cost is estimated at $155,180.


Stark Parks (Stark County) - $22,080 for watershed education training for teachers to create a five-day Muskingum River Watershed improvement project workshop for teachers to incorporate into their academic curriculum. The program will involve watershed content knowledge, curriculum support and project planning skills for participants. Total project cost is estimated at $27,680.


The Wilderness Center (Stark and Wayne counties) – $15,785 for the required local-cost share match for a Clean Ohio Fund program for acquisition of a 30-acre parcel of property under the Sugar Creek Corridor Protection Plan. The total project cost is estimated at $63,323. The Sugar Creek Conservation Corridor, located in the 357-square-mile Sugar Creek Watershed, seeks to protect land and improve water quality in the Sugar Creek Watershed, which is rated as the second most adversely impacted watershed in the state by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.


Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District - $4,053 for the required local cost-share match for a federal flood plain management education program grant to educate community leaders about floodplain issues and programs. Total project cost is estimated at $9,929. The program will provide community leaders in predominantly rural counties with science-based information and examples of tools and resources they can use when making decisions that affect floodplains in their communities.


The MWCD launched the Partners in Watershed Management program in 2009 to support work, reduce costs and leverage cost-share dollars by other agencies and communities in the watershed, which spans from southern Summit County to where the Muskingum River meets the Ohio River at Marietta in Washington County, and is the state’s largest wholly contained watershed.


This year is the first year that the Partners in Watershed Management program accepted funding applications for consideration by the MWCD. The MWCD also assembled an independent team consisting of some of the state’s top water conservation leaders to assist in reviewing the applications and making recommendations for funding.


Slogar said the Partners in Watershed Management program was created by the MWCD to support the work of agencies and groups involved in conservation programs, water quality issues and flood reduction and mitigation projects; provide assistance to local communities, agencies and groups involved in projects and programs that support the conservation and flood reduction components of the mission of the MWCD; and leverage other cost-share dollars.


The MWCD funding comes from the assessment levied by the conservancy district on nearly 500,000 parcels of property in the Muskingum River Watershed for maintenance and rehabilitation of the reservoirs and dams, and for programs that help reduce flooding and promote water conservation.


In 2009, the MWCD program provided funding to assist several projects, including an acid mine remediation program at Piedmont Reservoir in Belmont County; a flood reduction and water quality improvement project in the city of Canton in Stark County; and a mitigation project in Carroll County where 30 homeowners were relocated away from a flood-prone creek that had caused damage on several occasions.


Applications will be accepted for funding awards in 2011 until late this year. For details, visit the MWCD website at www.mwcd.org.

The MWCD, a political subdivison 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 Basin. Since their construction, the reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $7 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government.

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