Otter Creek Sediment Removal Progress

June OtterDredgeAfter 20 years of investigations of the sediment on Otter Creek’s creek bed and its stream and ecological conditions, we are excited to share that U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineer’s Otter Creek Project started in April 2021. This project is in the process of removing 1.7 miles of contaminated sediments in the lower Otter Creek and mouth of Otter Creek into Maumee Bay.

Over the course of the summer, around 57,000 cubic yards of the contaminated creek bed will be pumped into the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority confined disposal facility, where it will remain forever. This is about the equivalent of three football fields filled 10 feet high of polluted sediment. The contaminants found at the creek bed were Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (found in fossil fuels) and Diesel Range Organics. This project will hopefully reduce the associated toxicity and reduce the toxic exposure to wildlife.

After the creek muck is removed, a one-foot sand cover mixed with organic material will be placed in the creek. This will provide a barrier to any remaining pollutants and offer a new surface for organisms to re-establish their populations. New habitat structures will also be placed along the lower mile of Otter Creek to support important wildlife habitats. This project is one of the many projects prioritized by the Maumee Area of Concern Advisory Committee to improve our waterways by improving wildlife habitat and the benthic macroinvertebrates (i.e. little organisms) on the creek bed.

Stay up to date on the amazing progress of this project by following the Maumee AOC on social media to see the project updates and videos from lead agencies.