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Lorain County Black River AOC Invasive Species Removal Grants

LORAIN COUNTY – COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

Lower Black River AOC Invasive Species Removal Grants (Challenge I, II & III)

Lorain, Ohio
Funded by NOAA and USEPA via the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)
Invasive Phragmites australis
Phragites removal

Coldwater assisted the Lorain County Community Development Department with conceptualizing the first of three projects to remove invasive species along the Lower Black River AOC. The proposal was one of seven selected by NOAA and garnered the County $973,500 in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding. The goal of the project was to remove a minimum of 40 acres of invasive species while creating at least 20 new jobs within the County. The “challenge” was developing a project that combined ecological restoration in a Great Lakes Area of Concern while putting local unemployed people to work. The Black River Civilian Conservation Corps (BRCCC) was developed, to create the workforce of unemployed community members to implement invasive species removal.

Coldwater was subsequently selected by the County to assist with implementation of the project. Our scope included developing the Quality Assurance Project Plan, facilitating public outreach, coordinating with stakeholders, project planning, assessment, monitoring, technical reporting, and training of the work force to be hired by the County, field supervision, and progress reporting. The project aimed to remove four target invasive species in the project corridor, including common reed (Phragmites australis), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia) and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum).  Following treatment of invasive species, Coldwater also assisted the County with harvesting and installing live stakes to help to re-establish native plant communities.

Coldwater was also selected by the County to assist with Phases II and III of the project, which consist of an additional $1.1 Million in grant funds from U.S. EPA. These projects are currently underway and will remove invasive species from an additional 71 acres in the Black River watershed.

PROJECT ELEMENTS:

Grant Writing
Planning
Ecological Assessments
Invasive Species Control
Field Crew Oversight

Workforce Training
Re-forestation
Grant Administration
Public Outreach
Vegetation Monitoring