Sub-watershed Conservation Funds

In the Ohio River watershed it is a challenge to obtain requisite funding to perform necessary habitat restoration. To make progress on this front, Ohio River Foundation is working with partners in Ohio River sub-watersheds to create conservation funds. These funds aggregate dollars and resources for greater impact.

Many organizations often focus on large-scale projects, but those are becoming more difficult in the Ohio River Watershed because funding is scarce. But taken together, small-scale projects can have big cumulative impacts. We hope this program becomes a catalyst for creation of other such subwatershed conservation funds. We are looking for other such partnership opportunties in the watershed.

If you are interested in donating to a conservation fund or creating one, please contact us.

Great Miami River Conservation Fund

The first fund, the Great Miami River Conservation Fund, was created in fall 2017. Founding partners are the Miami Conservancy District (MCD), the Unnited States FIsh & Wildlife Service - Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program (PFW), and Ohio RIver Foundation. ORF administers the fund and assists in project management.

Together, MCD and PFW are providing approximately $250,000 in seed money for the first five years, for project work on MCD properties. ORF is administering the fund and co-managing the projects. Projects will include removing invasive plant species from the Great Miami River corridor and its tributaries as well as planting native trees along river banks. As additional funds come in from other sources, non-MCD properties will be considered for restoration.

The first project is already underway. Just downstream of the Lockington Dam, the organizations are planting 11 acres of native wildflowers and shrubs to help filter runoff to Loramie Creek, provide needed pollinator habitat and reduce MCD maintenance. Pollinator habitat on this project will provide habitat for monarch butterflies, native bees and migratory birds, all of which have been in decline due to loss of pollinator and grassland habitats.

Currently, habitat for such species in many areas of the 160-mile-long Great Miami River corridor is limited. These projects enable existing populations, and perhaps new ones, to populate river floodplains and riparian areas. Corridor spaces play an integral function in protecting and recovering river health.