January 4, 2016 - 2:18pm -- shaw.524@osu.edu

"Friend of Community Development" Awarded to MWCD by OSU Extension

By Barbara Bennett

December 21, 2015

“For outstanding support and partnership in the delivery of educational programs to improve the quality of life in Ohio,” reads the plaque recently awarded to the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) by the Ohio State University Extension. This award is the result of MWCD’s recent ability to reinvest in the community to enhance flood warning systems and realize better water quality in the Muskingum River Watershed.

Two specific projects located in southeast Ohio and recently funded by MWCD were cited in the nomination for this award. The first project was the installation of a flood warning system along Duck Creek in Noble County which now provides real time flood-stage elevations of the river offering advance warning of impending flood waters. These real time and historical river readings are found on the USGS website and gives interested parties the ability to monitor and give notice of flood conditions. MWCD provided the local cost share of the installation of the river gages and also provides a portion of the Operation and Maintenance cost of the flood warning system. It is expected that over the course of the next 50 years the flood warning system will save over $6.5 million in potential flood damages in this part of Ohio.

The second project cited in the award nomination was MWCD’s funding of a major stream bank stabilization project on the Muskingum River in Washington County. The project incorporated state of the art technology by injecting a slurry compound of polymers through an affected road and into the stream embankment. The hardened slurry compound stabilized the embankment and now prevents silts and sediments from entering the waterway. This stream bank stabilization project also preserves the integrity of the adjoining township road serving local homeowners and affords the opportunity to create a riparian buffer which will enhance water quality.

The nomination by Darlene A. Lukshin, the Program Specialist for Community Development for the OSU Extension-Washington County states, “Without the funding assistance provided by Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District neither of these projects would have been possible”.

To date over $3 million in funding assistance has been granted to water quality and flood reduction projects throughout the 18 county Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District through the Partnership in Watershed Management grant program. In 2015 fourteen projects in 10 different counties received over $800,000 in grant funding provided by revenues generated through the maintenance assessment and supplemented by income generated from MWCD oil and gas leasing opportunities.