$5M grant program for H2Ohio Best Management Practice

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – A $5 million grant program for a new H2Ohio Best Management Practice — the Two Stage Ditch, was announced on August 15.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Agriculture announced the grant program.

A two-stage ditch is a conversation practice that modifies the shape of a drainage ditch to create vegetation benches on each side. These benches slow water flow and reduce downstream nutrient runoff.

“Clean water for all Ohioans is a top priority,” said DeWine. “I am pleased that H2Ohio continues to implement new solutions to improve water quality.”

The two-stage ditch is the eighth best management practice that the Ohio Department of Agriculture has offered in the H2Ohio program.

“Two stage ditches are an important technology that reestablishes the natural floodplain area, which lowers flood risk and increases water quality,” said Mike Pniewski, a Lucas County Engineer. “H2Ohio’s investment will improve the quality of life for those in the Maumee River Watershed.”

H2Ohio incentivizes producers to implement conversational practices to improve water quality and reduce nutrient runoff.

“We are very excited to expand the H2Ohio program with an additional best management practice,” said Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director. “We always strive to evolve with H2Ohio, looking at science to offer the best practices to reduce nutrient runoff.”

The grant program for the two-stage ditch practice is available in 24 counties in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts and county engineers are eligible to apply for up to full reimbursement of the two-stage ditch construction.

Applications for the grant program will be mailed directly to Soil and Water Conservation Districts and county engineer offices and must be completed and submitted by Nov. 30, 2022.

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