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Black River Landing & Heron Rookery Habitat Restoration Project


Black River Landing & Heron Rookery Habitat Restoration Project

Lorain, Ohio
Funded by NOAA via the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)
Prior to construction banks were nearly vertical and eroded
The streambank at the Landing was modified to a stable, vegetated slope
View of the Heron Rookery site, two years post-construction

The City of Lorain received a grant for over $1.3M from NOAA for funding the Black River Landing and Heron Rookery Habitat Restoration Project. This project is a continuation of previous lower Black River restoration and improvement projects. These projects are designed to improve in-stream and riparian habitat in areas previously devoid of quality habitat. Coldwater assisted the City of Lorain with site assessment, permitting, design, construction oversight, biological monitoring, public outreach, and grant management tasks for this design-bid-build project.

The project includes stream bank stabilization, and aquatic habitat and riparian restoration along 370 feet of the river at the Black River Landing and 1,100 feet near the Heron Rookery. Stabilization efforts included modifying the banks to more stable slopes, installation of boulders, and establishing vegetation on the slopes with native shrubs and herbaceous plants.

The project resulted in the construction of over 1,000 linear feet of fish habitat shelves at the Heron Rookery site that consisted of a shallow-water shelf with rock and boulder substrates to provide aquatic habitat. The fish shelf provides a “living shoreline”, helping to stabilize the streambank and supporting aquatic vegetation, while at the same time providing habitat for fish, macroinvertebrates, and other aquatic organisms. The fish shelves provide additional structure and diversity in a part of the river in which high quality habitat is sparse or non-existent. Aquatic herbaceous plants were installed through a unique installation that involved pre-vegetated tubular containment systems that were placed in near-shore areas. USACE authorized the restoration project under Nationwide Permit 27, with no delays to the project schedule. Bank stabilization and habitat restoration work was completed in fall of 2015.


Stream Restoration
Bioengineering Techniques
Fish Shelves
Biological Assessments
Environmental Permitting
Grant Writing

Native Planting Plans
Invasive Species Control
Grant Administration
Public Outreach
Construction Management