Wetlands are vital to healthy watersheds and are often referred to as the kidneys of the landscape. Soil erosion and nutrient runoff threaten streams and lakes across Ohio, including the East Fork Little Miami River (EFLMR) and William H. Harsha Lake. Excess sediment and nutrients have contributed to problems with Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), which have been increasing with frequency in recent years at Harsha Lake. Wetlands (both naturally occurring and constructed) are efficient natural systems that absorb and filter excess sediment and nutrient runoff during storm events.
Clermont SWCD is working with the Village of Williamsburg, Clermont Office of Environmental Quality (OEQ) and other partners to construct and monitor an off-channel wetland along the East Fork Little Miami River (EFLMR). This project utilizes the ~3 acre reservoir that was formerly connected to the Williamsburg low-head dam, which was removed in 2018. Modifications to the floodplain and reservoir will improve river access during high flows, allowing sediment and nutrients to settle out in the wetland. Clermont OEQ will monitor water quality to assess the efficiency of the wetland system. The wetland will also provide quality habitat for native fish, mussels, migratory birds and other wildlife. For more information, contact Clermont SWCD.