Riparian Zone

The Maumee River Riparian Zone Restoration is a reforestation effort on 75 acres of farm land with a goal of restoring riparian bottomland habitat.  The restoration plan, developed by the state of Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), provides compensation for natural resource injuries along the Maumee River resulting from hazardous substance releases from the Fort Wayne Reduction Site.  The 35-acre Fort Wayne Reduction Site, a former municipal landfill and waste disposal facility located on the Maumee River east of the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was placed on the National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites in 1986.  A settlement agreement with the responsible parties provided for the restoration of 75 acres of farm land located in the Maumee River floodplain to protect approximately one mile of riparian habitat along the river.  The plan called for reforestation of bottomland/riparian habitat with native and naturally-occurring tree and shrub species that are tolerant of wet conditions.

After six growing seasons, the area averaged 83 percent total stem survival and had an average of nine different species present.  The property was conveyed to a local parks department that has made improvements in public access and has planted additional tree seedlings on the property.  The restored riparian habitat has provided a number of environmental benefits, including wildlife habitat, improved water quality, and streambank stabilization as well as recreational opportunities such as hiking, bird watching, and nature studies.