Commission on the River

Archived Posts from 2012

Public Meeting: The University of Toledo Ottawa River Restoration Project Phase II: In-Stream Restoration

Tuesday October 30th
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Snyder Memorial 3066

Drinks and light refreshments provided.
Parking available in Lot 10.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Patrick Lawrence
Chair, UT Presidents Commission on the River


Celebrate Our River Week  - September 10-15, 2012 (tentative schedule)

  • Wednesday - Friday (September 12 - 15): Video and poster displays in Carlson Library
  • Wednesday (September 12) noon: Tour of cutbank project site (Law School Parking lot)
  • Thursday (September 13) noon:  River scavenger hunt, with gift card prizes (Carlson Library Bridge)
  • Friday (September 14) noon: Announcement of the Student River Photography Contest awards (Student River Plaza)
  • Saturday (September 15) 8:00 AM:  Clean Your Streams (Law School Patio)

In addition in association with Celebrate Our River Week the UT Lake Erie Center (6200 Bayshore Rd., Oregon OH 43616) is sponsoring these activities:

  • Naturalist Night with Jackie Riley. "Butterflies of NW Ohio." Talk will be followed by and outdoor field session. Fun for all ages! Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 6:30 pm.
  • Public Lecture: "Are Lake Erie habitats suitable for Asian carp?" Dr. Patrick Kocovsky, USGS Great Lakes Science Center,  Thursday, September 13, 2012, 7:00 pm. LEC room 155

All events are free and open to the public.


scenic images of the river2012 UT Ottawa River Student Photography Contest

The President’s Commission on the River announces the 2012 UT Ottawa River Photography Contest.

Contest its open only to current registered UT students. Entries will be judged by a panel of photography and Ottawa River experts with gift card prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. All decisions of the judges will be final.

Individuals are limited to a maximum of three (3) separate photo entries. Please limit digital manipulation to basic light/color correction – no major photoshopping!

Photographers of all skill levels can (and should!) enter – there are no equipment or special technical requirements, even cellphone photos are accepted!

Entries should include a high resolution jpeg image of the Ottawa River on the main campus of UT and can focus on scenic views, wildlife, nature, people, or any river-related topic or theme.

All entries must be received by Monday, September 10, 2012 at 5pm. Email photos, along with student name, Rocket ID and current phone number, to:

 Awards will be presented at the Student River Plaza (between Student Union and Carlson Library) on Friday September 14th at 12 noon.



cross-section of river showing cutbank plan

Phase 1 of the Ottawa River Restoration Project is underway

Dr. Patrick Lawrence Chair, UT President’s Commission on the River
July 2012

Work has started this summer on the effort to improve aquatic habitat conditions along the 3,700 feet of the Tenmile Creek/Ottawa River on the main campus of the University of Toledo. This project has been underway since 2009 by the UT President’s Commission on the River with initial concept plans and design developed in association with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Buffalo District and related education and public outreach involving UT faculty and graduate students working with science teachers and students from Toledo Public Schools TECHS at Scott Park, with a grant by the Stranahan Foundation. The construction of the habitat restoration is supported by funding provided by the Ohio EPA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Phase I, to be completed this summer, will consist of the building of a cut bank feature along 900 feet of river bank adjacent to the UT Law School, which will require tree removal, excavation of fill placed along the river in 1960, new soil, landscaping and plantings with seeding and trees. Phase II, currently in final design stage, involves the use of natural materials including trees and rock to create in-stream habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms, with this work to be completed in August 2013.

For more information please refer to the July 2012 project summary available on this website (under UT Ottawa River Restoration Project) or contract .


After 20 Years, Health Advisories Finally Lifted for Ottawa River in Toledo

Warning signs being removed

TOLEDO, Ohio (February 27, 2012) - The fish consumption advisory, with the exception of carp for the Ottawa River in Toledo, including the portion that flows through The University of Toledo, has been ordered lifted by the Ohio Department of Health and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. This advisory was originally issued by the Ohio Department of Health in 1991. It resulted from the decades of manufacturing activity and improper waste disposal of hazardous substances in the Ottawa River and its watershed.

The “do not wade or swim” contact advisory had been previously lifted for the western half of the Ottawa River, which includes the portion that flows through The University of Toledo Main Campus, in 2010. An advisory to not eat the carp in any section of the Ottawa River remains in effect. Officials with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, The University of Toledo, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency gathered at 1:15 pm Wednesday, February 29 to remove an existing yellow warning sign located on the north side of the Ottawa River by the footbridge behind the Carlson Library.

“The Ottawa River that flows through The University of Toledo Main Campus is an important part of our University and we are pleased to see the health of the river improve and the advisories lifted,” said

Dr. Patrick Lawrence, UT professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Planning, and chair of the UT President’s Commission on the River. “The University is committed to enhancing the waterway and retaining the valuable natural resource for future generations.” The UT President’s Commission on the River plans an annual “Celebrate Our River Week” that includes a “Clean Your Streams” campaign with volunteers pulling trash from the waterway. Dr. Grossman states, “This is a major success story for safe clean water in Lucas County but more importantly it has provided better health and well being for Lucas County and its residents. This endeavor has taken over a decade to be celebrated and could not have happened if not for the work and commitment of numerous individuals and groups. However, in Lucas County there is much more work to be done on improving water quality.”

The University is in the process of an Ottawa River restoration project funded with grants from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The project will use natural materials to create changes to the river flow that will enhance the aquatic habitat. Restoration plans are expected to be finalized in April with improvements beginning this summer.

Video of Event: Removal of Ottawa River Warning Signs
March 1, 2012
Courtesy of WTOL 11



University of Toledo Ottawa River Restoration and Improvement Information Meeting

February 14, 2012
9:00am – 2:30pm
University of Toledo Student Union Room 2591
Registration is limited
RSVP by February 10 to
Hosted by the University of Toledo President’s Commission on the River

Join us for a discussion on restoration plans for the Ottawa River that runs through the University of Toledo's main campus. The aim of these plans is to improve aquatic habitats with the use of natural materials and native plants. This workshop would be of interest to university staff and students, professionals, and the community.


  • 9:00am Welcome and Introductions: Lawrence
  • 9:15am Project Overview: Lawrence and Horvat
  • 9:30am Presentation on concept plans and questions:
  • ACOE Buffalo team
  • 10:30am Break
  • 10:45am Vegetation plantings and plan: Horvat and Walters
  • 11:00am Open forum and discussion
  • 12:pm Lunch (provided)
  • 1:00pm Project schedule and timelines: Lawrence and Horvat
  • 1:30pm Site visit (weather permitting)

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Last Updated: 6/26/15