Black Swamp Wildflowers dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the natural heritage of Northwest Ohio

Wetland Restoration

Partners/Sponsors


Roger
Mullholand

 

A bulldozer (John Deere 650H) was used to excavate a series of small ponds with shallow connectors between them. The intention was to create a ephemeral ponds that vary in how long into the summer they will hold water. Several well-drained, sandy ridges separate these wet areas with “Oak Openings” -type conditions.

It is our hope that this project will foster a better understanding of the value of natural areas and to improve public attitudes towards wetlands, recognition of their importance and aid in restoration. Sadly, only the destruction of many local wetlands has brought about a recognition of the many ecological functions that wetlands offer to local communities. As sites that had harbored many serious pathogens (e.g., malaria and yellow fever), they were obliterated on a grand scale, giving way to more "productive" uses of the land. We now realize that wetlands actually represent some of the most productive ecosystems in the world, on par with rain forests and coral reefs. Their diversity makes them spectacularly resilient to external disruptors and they bring many benefits to the areas surrounding them. Fish and wildlife habitats offer opportunities for recreation and aesthetic appreciation. It serves as a refuge for many valuable, biological control agents, including ladybugs or predatory wasps, which quickly respond to and take advantage of local pest outbreaks (e.g., the newly introduced soybean aphid). The control of agricultural pests, paired with the pesence of an abundant array of polinators, has been shown to increase the yield of neighboring agricultural areas. Moreover, wetlands are primary sites for improving the water quality of head streams, they store and more slowly release water from flood surges, protect shorelines, inhibit soil erosion, and serve as a valued source of many natural products.
We are monitoring and documenting the changes these restored wetland go through as they mature. Following their initial construction, current efforts focus on how to best enhance and manage the site towards achieving our goals for an increase in biological diversity and a reduction in the organic load that emerges from the site.
In the first spring, several breeding pairs of Eastern American Toads have accepted our invitation to take up residence in these ponds. Tadpoles feed on periphytic algae and are one of the most voracious predators of mosquito larvae.

Links


[ Black Swamp Conservation/Restoration Area | History | GIS Maps | Geology | Chemistry | Partners ]
Projects [ Prairie Restoration | Savannah Restoration | Wetland Forest | Education ]
Natural History [ Plants | Fungi | Animals ]

Pages created and maintained by Robert Huber and Moira van Staaden. Contact us at if you are interested to utilize the site for educational, research, or public outreach projects. Comments, suggestions and critiques welcome blackswamp.oh@gmail.com or (419) 833-1241