Is Your Ohio Watershed Ready?

Recently, the Ohio Lake Erie Commission awarded $200,000 in grant funding to seven entities for the development of Nonpoint Source-Implementation Strategies (NPS-IS), also known as Nine-Element Plans. CEC Toledo is proud to have helped six of the seven recipients apply for the grant funds and assist in their planning efforts. We applaud these regional leaders for their proactive and forward-thinking approach in preparing their watersheds to receive state and federal funding for the implementation of water quality projects. We’re excited for the opportunity to contribute to improving water quality throughout the region. Are you ready to join these leaders as a champion for your watershed?

Watershed planning in Ohio is focused at the HUC-12 level. With just over 1,500 HUC-12s in Ohio, and about 100 approved plans or plans currently under development, plenty of watersheds are still in need. Current state and federal grant programs, such as Section 319 and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding sources, look to approved Nine-Element Plans for eligible projects to award implementation monies.

Watersheds in Ohio. Image courtesy of OEPA.
Watersheds in Ohio. Image courtesy of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The recent budget approved in Ohio includes the H2Ohio Initiative, which will provide $172 million over the next two years for water quality improvement projects throughout the state. Under this initiative, projects that focus on land-based management for the prevention of nutrient runoff to waterways as well as stream and wetland restoration will be considered for funding. Three state agencies, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, will receive the bulk of these funds, and details of how these funds will be administered are still forthcoming. Project funds will likely be made available through grant programs, underscoring the need for approved watershed plans.

CEC Toledo’s Watershed Planning Team is led by Deanna Bobak, lead technical writer of 37 Nine-Element Plans. We’re proud to have worked hand-in-hand with plan sponsors from Soil and Water Conservation Districts, municipalities, and watershed partnerships for plan development. We believe in starting the conversation early—aligning your needs with funding opportunities. We’re available to assist in every step of the way; from grant application to plan development to project conceptualization and implementation. Our team has helped secure over $380,000 in grant money for plan development, and over $1.1M (and counting!) has been awarded for projects identified within our plans. We know that improving water quality is a primary focus in Ohio. The State of Ohio is dedicating significant resources to support watershed planning efforts. Is your watershed ready? If not, we can help you get positioned to secure funding for your watershed planning efforts.

Call (419-724-5281) or email (dbobak@cecinc.com) Deanna Bobak today to get the process started.

Help My Watershed Be Ready!

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