The Lower Black River Habitat Restoration effort is a consortium of ecological restoration projects along the lower Black River, in the City of Lorain, Ohio. To date, over $10 million in grant funds have been awarded to the City and the County to restore habitat along the river. The projects will result in restoration of over 26 acres of active floodplain wetlands, 7 acres of upland riparian areas, and 5,000 linear feet of eroding river banks. The projects will also improve in-stream habitat for fish, including over 7,000 linear feet of fish habitat shelves, rootwad revetments, and boulder clusters. The projects will also remove invasive species and install over 20,000 native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Portions of the effort have been funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Ohio EPA; the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR); and a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) through Ohio EPA.
Public outreach and education efforts will introduce the fourth annual Black River Kayak-A-Thon (see below), the first of its kind on the Black. This event will be coupled with the Lorain International Festival on June 28, 2014. The Kayak-A-Thon and other public outreach activities are designed to get the public involved and educated about ecological restoration efforts that are underway to improve fish habitat, recreational opportunities, and water quality in the lower Black River.