Tipp City wetland development aims to improve river water quality

TIPP CITY – An off-channel wetlands development program coming to Tipp City property along the Great Miami River has several goals, including restoring fish habitat and improving overall river water quality.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approached the city about the opportunity for approximately eight acres located off Ohio 571 east of Tipp City, bordering the river, said Eric Mack, Tipp City director of municipal services.

Other project benefits are expected to include expanded off-river storage during flooding and reduced erosion to the river, he said.

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The project is similar to one done recently by several of the same parties along with the Miami County Park District on land along the river at Paul G. Duke Park in Troy.

The city will hire a contractor for the project and pass the invoices to the Fish and Wildlife Service to pay, said Tim Eggleston, Tipp City’s city manager.

The cost of $254,000 will be paid 100 percent by the State H2Ohio program, said Donnie Knight of the Fish and Wildlife program.

In addition to the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the H2Ohio program are participants in the project.

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The H2Ohio program is a collaborative water quality effort to provide clean and safe water. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency each has a significant role in H2Ohio through the natural infrastructure of wetlands, the reduction in nutrient runoff, and increasing access to clean drinking water and quality sewer systems. To learn more, visit h2.ohio.gov.

The Tipp City project site was selected because it already had been set aside for conservation by the city, Knight said. In addition, the field’s current elevation made it feasible to excavate a basin that could be connected to the river, he said.

This project is designed to off load flood waters from the river and allow nutrients and sediments to settle out and be up taken by plants, Knight said.

“It reduces stream scour in the river, which provides benefits to fish, freshwater mussels and other wildlife, as well as protection to lands downstream by reducing bank erosion,” he added.

Mack said the city is interested in the project because of its benefits to the river. In addition to the benefits discussed, the city could potentially receive Miami Conservancy District Taylorsville Retarding Basin storage credits for creating additional floodplain storage.

“These credits could be used for future development in the flood plain. Per MCD requirements, below elevation 818 feet, no additional fill material is allowed unless credits can be used to offset the additional material added into the floodplain,” Mack said. “Additionally, this area would create another fishing area for Tipp City residents.”

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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