Rocky River, OH

Cuyahoga SWCD's water conservation programs

Terrence Jacobs

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Northern Ohio Watershed Corps logocuyahogaswcd.org

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH — This year, Cuyahoga SWCD will be having several programs related to water conservation through NOWCorps to raise awareness of water quality restoration.

The Cuyahoga SWCD hosts the NOWCorps Program. Colleen is a NOWCorps member who helps with the water quality monitoring projects in the Rocky River, Euclid Creek, and Cahoon-Porter watersheds, as well as reforesting Cuyahoga County through our NUTS (Native Urban Tree Starters) Program.

Alongside their partners, Tinker's Creek Watershed Partners acknowledges the importance of maintaining water quality throughout Northern Ohio. They also believe in educating the general public and area authorities to encourage behavioral changes that benefit their water resources.

Watershed organizations, soil and water conservation districts, municipal and county government offices, and other conservation charities collaborate with the Northern Ohio Watershed Corps (NOWCorps). They want to promote outreach, education, capacity building, environmental stewardship, and stormwater management. In addition to site-specific training, NOWCorps members will get programmatic training.

Several programs will be held. One of them is Envirothon. It is a high school outdoor academic competition aimed to inspire, reinforce, and develop an interest in the environment and natural resources. The Envirothon assesses students' natural resource knowledge in five areas: soils, wildlife, forestry, aquatics, and current environmental issues.

This year's environmental issue is about water resource management. Students will compete in problem-solving exercises in groups.

Another program that they have is related to the fish community in Baldwin Creek. According to the Rocky River Watershed Action Plan and different Ohio EPA assessments, the fishes are not plentiful or varied enough to meet Clean Water Act standards.

The removal of three low-head dams along the bottom 1/2 mile of Baldwin Creek in the City of Berea is the first step toward restoring the biological stability of Baldwin Creek. It allows fish from the East Branch of the Rocky River to freely travel up the creek and repopulate it.

Moving to the next program is the NWF Backyard Habitat Stewards program. Each spring, the district hosts this program in collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation. It consists of six workshops that teach participants how to assist community members in creating and restoring wildlife habitats in backyards, schoolyards, and other private and public spaces. After completing this course, the individual will be certified as an NWF Habitat Steward.

The last program is Frontal Lake Erie Watershed Program by Cahoon Creek. It is a program where you can participate in monitoring the water quality. You just need to pledge to take at least three watershed-friendly actions in your yard and one action with your community.

The first community meeting managed to remove 162 pounds of trash from their waterways. Therefore, since they are getting a better water quality monitoring kit, they hope the program can be improved more. They will also have a training session to train the volunteers to monitor the watershed in the next few months.

You can check their other programs and participate through the official website at https://cuyahogaswcd.org/.

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