TOLEDO, Ohio — As part of the H2Ohio program, Gov. Mike DeWine announced a $5 million grant that will provide construction of two-stage ditches in northwest Ohio. 

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new grant in partnership with the H2Ohio program

  • The money will go towards building two-stage ditches in 24 northwestern Ohio counties

  • It will help reduce flooding and improve water quality

Lucas County Engineer Mike Pniewski maintains the drainage system in his community and is excited about the new program.

“By doing a two-stage ditch, you’re making an improvement,” he said. 

Clark Hutson, the H2Ohio program coordinator for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, said vegetation plays a large role in the process.

“You construct a bench on one side or on both sides,” Hutson said. “That bench is seeded with vegetation and native plants will eventually start to come back into that as well. So when the water flows over those in high flows, that vegetation helps slow down the water, helps use up some of the nutrients, and helps other nutrients settle out.”

The ditches are multi-purpose. They will help to prevent floods in farmland, as well as improve water quality by pulling out phosphorus from the water.

Pniewski said the system helps with water cleanliness as well. 

“Essentially, they’re the function that allows water to slow down enough that it gives vegetation and natural systems the ability to clean the water before it goes into a water body,” he said.

Applications are open for county engineers and soil and water conservation districts to fill out. They can receive full reimbursement for the cost of constructing the ditches.

Applications will be mailed directly to the soil and water conservations districts and county engineer offices of the 24 eligible counties in northwest Ohio.