Lake Erie Center

Wolf Creek Watershed Restoration Project

Project Description

The Wolf Creek watershed consists of approximately 16 square miles of land located in Lucas County, Ohio.  The creek receives frequent inputs from agricultural drainage tiles as it flows northeast through Northwood, Oregon, and Jerusalem Township (See Watershed Map below).  The creek empties into Lake Erie, in Maumee Bay, approximately 70 m east of the lakeside beach at Maumee Bay State Park (MBSP).  The quality of water at the lakeside beach is routinely monitored during the recreational season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) to protect the public from adverse swimming conditions.  Water samples are analyzed for Escherichia coli (an indicator organism for fecal contamination); when the densities of E. coli exceed the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) standard of 235 colony forming units per 100 ml, a swim advisory is posted for the beach.  Since 2000, there have been swim advisories posted an average of 20 days during each recreational season.

In 2003-2004, the University of Toledo (UT) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) performed a study throughout Maumee Bay to identify proximate sources of E. coli to the lakeside beach at MBSP (See Microbial Tracking in Maumee Bay link).  The results suggest that Wolf Creek/Berger Ditch is the proximate source.  In 2006, UT implemented a monitoring plan for the Wolf Creek watershed to collect data for designing a wetland to treat water in the watershed prior to entering Maumee Bay.  Two stream gauges (one in Berger Ditch the other in Wolf Creek) are used to measure the stream discharge, velocity, and stage height, and also collect water samples that are analyzed for E. coli, suspended solids, and total phosphorus. 

In 2011, UT received funding from the U.S. EPA through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to construct a wetland at MBSP.  The goal of this project is to improve water quality in Maumee Bay and reduce the number of swim advisories at the lakeside beach by using wetland habitat.  The wetland will function to reduce the loadings of contaminants (E. coli, suspended solids, and total phosphorus) using two stages (See Passive Treatment Wetland Project Locations below).  Stage 1, located upstream on the City of Oregon property, will consist of a sedimentation pond that will promote the settling of suspended solids.  Stage 2, located downstream at MBSP, will consist of a multi-terraced wetland that will filter water and use native vegetation to remove contaminants.

Figures and Maps

Preliminary Results of the Sedimentation Pond

Link to Gage Station located within the Wolf Creek Watershed

Last Updated: 3/23/15