- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Columbus has completed restoration of one of its major rivers.

Mayor Michael Coleman and a city council member arrived by canoe at an event Thursday celebrating completion of the $6.9 million Olentangy River Restoration Project.

The effort included removing a dam at Fifth Avenue that had become a safety and environmental impediment and re-engineering the river channel. Wetland areas were added to slow and filter the flow of stormwater, the shoreline was restored and native plant species were added to begin restoring native habitat from north of the Ohio State University campus to downtown.

The low-head dam was built in the 1930s to provide water for the university power plant. Coleman said it had prevented the river from flowing naturally, which affected water quality.

“This project is a prime example of our commitment to provide responsible stewardship of our natural resources,” the mayor said.



The restoration project was completed with $2 million from Ohio State, $3.6 million from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and support from nearby Battelle Memorial Institute and the nonprofit Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed, or FLOW.

FLOW volunteers helped remove and relocate native mussels, coordinated cleanup events and created three permanent, interpretive signs featuring before-and-after images and descriptions of the project’s environmental benefits.

Mary Lynn Readey, the university’s vice president for facilities operations and development, said restoring the Olentangy near the campus will create future opportunities.

“This long-term enhancement of the river corridor will benefit the university and surrounding communities by providing a space for research and unique academic endeavors to flourish,” she said.

A contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services remains in place through June. The agency will periodically erect orange exclusion fencing and discourage Canada geese from gathering along the project corridor to allow new plants to establish.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide