The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) worked with the Verdantas team to restore a riparian wetland system along a portion of Murphy’s Run at Brooks Park on the southwest side of Buckeye Lake. Murphy’s Run and Buckeye Lake are both Ohio EPA 303(d) Listed Impaired Waters. Murphy’s Run, and the greater watershed contributing to Buckeye Lake, was impacted by sedimentation and nutrient loading, specifically high concentrations of phosphorus, in part caused by runoff from the surrounding landscape, which included active row crop farming and animal feeding operations, as well as residential developments within close proximity to Buckeye Lake.

Previous studies by Ohio EPA identified excessive sediment and phosphorus loadings into Buckeye Lake were attributed to its tributaries that include Murphy’s Run. The sediment and phosphorus loading of the shallow lake has led to frequent nuisance algal blooms capable of producing microcystin that in some cases resulted in temporary beach and water activity closures.

With funds secured through H2Ohio, ODNR contracted with our team to create wetlands and natural stream features as a component of a multi-faceted strategy for improving water quality and habitat in Murphy’s Run and Buckeye Lake. Our team was tasked with site characterization, survey, design, permitting, construction plan preparation, bidding activities, and construction oversight to meet the H2Ohio program goals of improving water quality. Construction was completed in June 2021.

Important project features include:

  • Creation of approximately 2.5 acres of quality wetland habitat.
  • Realignment of approximately 700 linear feet of Murphy’s Run.
  • Construction of an oversized pool in Murphy’s Run that will slow down the water flow and allow sediment to settle in the bottom of the pool before water enters the wetlands and realigned stream.
  • Installation of native trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers.

 Project benefits include:

  • Better water quality and clarity in Buckeye Lake through the reduction of up to 362 pounds of nitrogen, 60 pounds of phosphorus, and 44 tons of sediment each year.
  • More stormwater storage capacity and treatment opportunities as stormwater moves through the wetlands areas, stream channel floodplain, and realigned stream channel.
  • Higher quality, native ecological community that is more diverse and resilient.

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