The Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP) was created to help counter the loss of ecological function and biological diversity of Ohio’s water resources. Through the program, Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) borrowers/sponsors can choose to divert a portion of their loan’s estimated interest payment and instead use the money to implement one or more qualifying WRRSP projects.
Through WRRSP funding, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy is working with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to preserve the 603-acre Turkey Creek Estuary. The area is home to 400 native plant and animal species, including three new moth species in Ashtabula County, 60 bird species (including nesting migratory passerine birds) and other rare and threatened species.
In April 2016, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) partnered with the Land Conservancy to sponsor the Turkey Creek Estuary Protection Project with their East 140th Consolidation and Relief Sewer WPCLF loan. NEORSD received an interest rate discount totaling $6,944,994 on this WPCLF infrastructure loan, an important cost savings for their service community, by sponsoring this and several other WRRSP projects. WRRSP funding in the amount of $2,951,500 was applied toward acquiring and protecting the Turkey Creek Estuary. Several conservation organizations then partnered to submit a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant application, thereby leveraging an additional $1 million in match funding for the preservation of an additional 2,000 acres in the Grand River watershed.
In October 2016, an Environmental Covenant was recorded for the project, protecting and preserving wetlands, streams, floodplains, Lake Erie shoreline and estuary. The site will be transferred to a local public entity who will manage it as a nature preserve and passive public park. If you would like more information regarding restoring or protecting Ohio’s water resources through the WRRSP, please contact us at (800) 329-7518.
The 603-acre site includes 263 acres of high quality Category 3 wetlands.
The WRRSP provided $2,951,500 toward acquisition of the estuary.