EPA restores habitat along Ashtabula River
Work begins this week to improve and restore habitat along the Ashtabula River. This is the final phase of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) Ashtabula River cleanup project. Crews will begin constructing shallow water habitat along an 800-foot stretch of undeveloped shoreline on Norfolk Southern Railway Co. property between the railroad bridge and the mouth of 5 1/2 Slip.
This project will provide high quality habitat for fish spawning, waterfowl, and other aquatic organisms and involves placement of fish shelves along the eastern edge of the river. It will improve the shallow water areas along the peninsula that were affected by the GLLA cleanup that dredged 500,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the Ashtabula River. The dredging was completed in 2007.
The habitat project is a coordinated effort between EPA, the Ashtabula City Port Authority (ACPA), Ohio EPA, the Ashtabula River Coordination Group II (ARCG II), and Norfolk Southern Railway. The design and construction of the habitat work is being funded through cash and in-kind contributions from EPA, Ohio EPA, ARCG II and ACPA. Property access and easements are being provided by Norfolk-Southern.
EPA expects that earth-moving and in-water construction work requiring heavy equipment will be completed in December. Work will be focused primarily in the 5 1/2 slip area and truck traffic is expected between the site, through Bridge Street to Ohio 531 (East Fifth Street) and Ohio 11. Native vegetation will be planted next spring to complete the project.