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Great Lakes Article:

$204,000 given for wetland buffer
By Ignazio Messina
Toledo Blade

Oregon was awarded $204,000 in state funds last week to help cover the cost of purchasing 57 acres along Wynn Road to relocate a ditch, and, in the process, create a buffer for wetlands.

Moving the ditch, which runs between Cedar Point and Bay Shore roads, would include establishing a wetland system that will flow into two existing ponds, city officials said.

Ponds created by the project will allow sediment to settle, preventing it from running into Maumee Bay and eventually Lake Erie, said Thomas Hays, assistant city law director. Environmentalists and city officials have long cited the need for better wetlands buffering.

The plan calls to dig a ditch 300 feet to the east of Wynn and to build a buffer mound between the road and the relocated ditch. Plans include a 10-foot-wide bike path.

The city applied for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant in August. The cost of relocating the ditch is still uncertain, but the grant money should cover the majority of the project.

The city initially wanted to move the ditch away from Wynn because of erosion to the pavement, but researchers at the University of Toledo Research Center saw environmental benefits in the move, Mr. Hays said.

Oregon was one of seven communities along the Lake Erie coastline to receive state money last week. The grant is part of $884,220 in Great Lakes Coastal Restoration grants to protect and improve area ecology, said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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