CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein

Ohio EPA Accepts Applications for Buckeye Lake Watershed Grants

Ohio EPA is accepting applications through April 30, 2013, for Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF) grants to benefit the Buckeye Lake watershed. This is supplemental funding for the ongoing Buckeye Lake Nutrient Reduction Project.

Nonpoint source pollution from storm water runoff is a significant cause of aquatic life use impairments in the Buckeye Lake watershed. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus move off the land and into the lake. Locally implemented demonstration projects, best management practices and alternatives to traditional storm water management can improve water quality.

Application guidelines for the Buckeye Lake SWIF grants are posted on Ohio EPA’s website. Grants up to $50,000 will be awarded to design and install several innovative nutrient reduction projects and storm water management projects to maintain and protect Buckeye Lake. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • streamside wetland restoration and invasive species management;
  • green (vegetated) roofs and rain gardens;
  • subsurface drainage control systems;
  • practices near waterways that facilitate treatment and buffering of drainage waters;
  • rainwater harvesting and reuse systems on public buildings; and
  • retrofitting public commons and parking areas with permeable pavement.

Eligible applicants include local governments, soil and water districts, parks and park districts, and other nonprofit conservation organizations with land management responsibilities.  Grant applicants should be ready for construction this summer and include a project-specific public awareness and outreach component. Projects should be completed within 18 months after receiving the grant. There are no matching requirements for these grants.

More information is online and by contacting Russ Gibson by email or calling (614) 644-2020 or Martha Spurbeck by email or calling (614) 644-2869.

The Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF) was created in 2008 and authorizes Ohio EPA to provide grant funding to eligible applicants. The goal of SWIF is to improve water quality in Ohio’s lakes, streams and rivers.

Habitat alteration, modification of natural flow with dams and levees, excessive sediment and nutrient enrichment are the greatest causes of stream degradation in Ohio.  SWIF grants are designed to demonstrate improvements in practices that keep soil, excess nutrients and pesticides out of waterways and lead to better water in Ohio.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA -- 40 years and moving forward.

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