U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USCOE)
Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration ? Section 206, Water Resources Development Act of 1996
Under Section 206, the Corps of Engineers is authorized to study, design, construct projects to restore or protect the aquatic ecosystem for the purpose of improving environmental quality when in the public interest, and cost effective, and not more than $5,000,000 Federal contribution per project.
Funds from this program can be utilized to remove lowhead dams as a way to improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. This funding source is listed under the Continuing Authorities Program, which allows for certain types of improvements without individual authorizations.
For more information, contact the Continuing Authorities Program Manager:
Buffalo District ? Christine Brayman (716) 879-4274
Huntington District ? Jonathan Jackson (304) 399-5090
Louisville District ? John Zimmerman (502) 315-6880
Pittsburgh District ? Carmen Lebder (412) 395-7284
The USCOE has utilized project mitigation as a viable method to fund the removal of lowhead dams that have been impacting streams.
Below is a list of USCOE contacts within the four districts serving Ohio that can provide assistance with questions pertaining to dam removal. Each of these individuals works in the Planning Section and is able to answer dam removal questions or permitting requirements.
Curt Meeder, Chief of Planning
Department of the Army
Pittsburgh District Corps of Engineers
William S. Moorhead Federal Building
1000 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 395-7228\
Christine Brayman, Chief of Planning
Department of the Army
Buffalo District Corps of Engineers
1776 Niagra Street
Buffalo, NY 14207
Phone: (716) 879-4274
Gene Barr, Acting Chief Plan Formulation
Department of the Army
Huntington District Corps of Engineers
502 8th Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701
Sharon Bond, Chief of Planning
Department of the Army
Louisville District Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 59
Louisville, Kentucky 40201
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Fish Passage Program (Grant)
The Fish Passage Grant Program has been used to provide technical assistance and Federal funds to: remove, replace, or retrofit artificial barriers such as lowhead dams.
The goal of the Fish Passage Program is to restore native fish and other aquatic species to self-sustaining levels by reconnecting habitats that have been fragmented by artificial barriers, where such reconnection results in a positive ecological effect. Since 1999, the Regional Fish Passage Program and 33 partner organizations have completed 18 projects that have improved fish passage.
For more information, contact the Fish Passage Coordinator, Michael Hoff at (612) 713-5114, or visit their website http://fisheries.fws.gov/FWSMA/fishpassage/FPPrgs/R3/Region3.htm
Partners for Fish and Wildlife (Grant)
The Partnerships for Wildlife Act authorized the establishment of the Wildlife Conservation and Appreciation Fund to receive appropriated funds and donations from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other private sources The fund may be used to provide grants to States to benefit a broad array of diverse fish and wildlife species and to provide non-consumptive fish and wildlife recreation opportunities. Appropriate State agencies are the only entities eligible to receive grant funds.
To learn more about the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Ohio, visit their website, http://midwest.fws.gov/Partners/ohio.html or call the Reynoldsburg Ecological Services Office at (614) 469-6919.
Visit this website to learn more about grant information with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. http://federalaid.fws.gov/grants/grantinf.html
To get a better understanding of Federal Aid Funding coming to Ohio via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit this website. http://midwest.fws.gov/FederalAid/ohio.html
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (Grant)
The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for people who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private land. Through WHIP USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service provides both technical assistance and up to 75 percent cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat. WHIP agreements between NRCS and the participant generally last from 5 to 10 years from the date the agreement is signed.
WHIP funds can be used on a ?Special Project? basis designation to remove lowhead dams that will improve fish habitat and water quality. Additional consideration is given to those projects that are endorsed locally and by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. For more information, contact Jon Warner at (614) 255-2474 or visit the NRCS Conservation Programs website at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/.
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA)
Division of Surface Water
The Division of Surface Water has provided funding to remove lowhead dams from other projects that require mitigation within the same watershed. The OEPA is evaluating several approaches to standardize how projects that impact streams can be evaluated relative to their environmental impact and the appropriate mitigation steps.
For more information, contact Randy Bournique at (614) 644-2013 or visit the http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/rules/stream_mitigation.html
Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP)
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) recently introduced a creative way for communities to fund stream and wetland restoration work in conjunction with improvements and repairs to wastewater collection systems and treatment plants. Traditionally, the state?s Water Pollution Control Loan Funds (WPCLF) program has provided low-interest loans to municipalities for wastewater treatment projects. Under a new program called the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program, if the community adds an approved restoration project to its treatment works project, it can reduce the total amount of money owed to the WPCLF. Reducing the rate of the treatment works loan by 0.1 percent and applying the savings to the WRRSP project money accomplish this.
A variety of restoration activities can qualify as a WRSSP project, including shoreline easement purchase and protection, restoration and protection of stream channels or wetlands, and planning costs associated with waterway restoration. The City of Vermilion, located in north-central Ohio, was the first community to participate in the WRRSP. The city received a $1.66 million, low-interest, 20-year loan from the WPCLF to improve and repair the city?s wastewater collection system and wastewater treatment plant. In addition, it developed a WRRSP project to provide funds to the Lorain County Metropolitan Park District to purchase, restore, and protect undeveloped property along the Vermilion River. This add-on reduced the interest rate, saving the city $1.18 million in interest payments over the life of the loan and freeing that money to be used for the restoration and enhancement of the river.
Dam removal/alteration projects have been funded through WRRSP. For more information contact Bob Monsarrat, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049; Phone: (614) 644-3655.
Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA)
The Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) is a revolving fund designed to operate in perpetuity to provide low interest loans and other forms of assistance for water resource protection and restoration projects. The WPCLF provides financial and technical assistance for a wide variety of actions to protect or improve the quality of Ohio's rivers, streams, lakes, and other water resources. The Fund offers assistance opportunities for both public and private entities.
Please call the Assistance Administration Section for further information at (614) 644-2832 or visit their website http://www.epa.state.oh.us/defa/wpclf.html
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
The division has utilized funds generated by the sale of specialized license plates for lowhead dam removal on Ohio?s scenic rivers. For more information concerning dam removal along Ohio?s Scenic Rivers contact Bob Gable, Scenic Rivers Manager at (614) 265-6814 or visit the division of Natural Areas and Preserves website http://www.dnr.state.oh.us /dnap/default.htm
Division of Wildlife
The division has funds set aside specifically for the removal of lowhead dams. All inquiries regarding lowhead dam removal should be directed to Joe Mion at (614) 265-6306 or visit the division of Wildlife website at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/default.htm
Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)
Office of Environmental Services
To offset the environmental impact of transportation projects, ODOT has approved the removal of lowhead dams as a viable way to mitigate project impacts. One lowhead dam removal project has been approved. ODOT is looking for additional projects to be considered. Once a project has been approved ODOT oversees the project from beginning to end.
For more information, contact Bill Cody, Assistant Environmental Administrator at (614) 466-5198 or visit their website at http://www.dot.state.oh.us/oes/oes_staff.htm
State of Ohio Water Development Authority
Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA)
The OWDA offers local governments loans to finance improvements and repairs to dams as mandated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). These types of projects are eligible to receive OWDA financing as long as plans have been approved by and an inspection report has been obtained from ODNR.
For more information, contact the OWDA at (614) 466-5822 or the Dam Safety Engineering Program, the Division of Water, ODNR at (614) 265-6731.
American Rivers is a national non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring healthy natural rivers and the variety of life they sustain for people, fish, and wildlife. The American Rivers organization is a valuable source of information to anyone who is interested in dam removal and river restoration.
To learn more about dam removal and potential funding sources visit the American Rivers website http://www.amrivers.org/, double click Resources, click view toolkits and you will see issue specific items such as Dam Removal and River Restoration Financing. These toolkits provide reports, documents, and other resources that will help you tackle a variety or river restoration projects.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation - General Matching Grant Program
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funds projects to conserve and restore fish, wildlife, and native plants through matching grant programs. The Foundation awards matching grants to projects that address priority actions promoting fish and wildlife conservation and the habitats on which they depend, work proactively to involve other conservation and community interests, leverage Foundation-provided funding, and evaluate project outcomes. Federal, state, and local governments, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations are welcomed to apply for a general matching grant throughout the year. Visit this website to learn more about the program and how to apply for a grant. http://www.nfwf.org/programs/grant_apply.htm