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Great Lakes Commission video highlights restoration of Maumee River site

The Penn 7 restoration site in the Maumee River Area of Concern.
The Penn 7 restoration site in the Maumee River Area of Concern.

The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) released a video highlighting its work to restore a former confined disposal site along the Maumee River in Ohio. The site, known as Penn 7, was used in the 1970s for disposal of silt dredged from the Maumee’s shipping channel. A partnership led by the GLC and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) restored more than 15 acres of wetland, improved nearly 60 acres of habitat, and created a water-control structure to better connect the site with the Maumee River.

“The Penn 7 restoration has increased opportunities for birding and fishing, created a downtown green space, and improved water quality and ecosystem health in the Toledo area,” said Mary Mertz, vice chair of the GLC and director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “We are thrilled that completion of this project moves the Maumee River one step closer to being delisted as a Great Lakes Area of Concern.”

The Maumee River is one of 43 Areas of Concern (AOCs) in the Great Lakes basin. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act accelerated the progress of delisting AOCs with an unprecedented investment of $1 billion in the GLRI.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is revitalizing Toledo and areas across the Great Lakes,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur, co-chair of the U.S. House Great Lakes Task Force. “Not only has this Maumee River restoration protected our cherished natural resources, but it is also protecting water quality in Toledo and will increase tourism, birding and fishing opportunities in the region.”

The Penn 7 restoration is one of 74 habitat restoration projects led by the GLC and NOAA in the Great Lakes basin since 2008. A ribbon-cutting celebration for the site was held earlier this summer. The video, produced by Great Lakes Outreach Media, reviews prior conditions of the site and restoration methods that were implemented.

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