The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced a wetland restoration project will begin at Woodlawn Beach State Park in Erie County this fall. The $1.6 million project is being funded through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
“This project is an important first step toward improving the water quality in Lake Erie near Woodlawn Beach. Monitoring the results of this project will provide important information about how we can further improve the health of the lake in this area,” said Mark V. Mistretta, State Parks Niagara regional director.
A press release stated, “Expansion of the wetland will result in cleaner water being discharged by Blasdell Creek as well as enhancing habitat for fish and wildlife. Additionally, the larger wetland will allow for increased physical and biological processes that will reduce pollution before it reenters Blasdell Creek. Woodlawn Beach provides the public with access to Lake Erie to enjoy trails through its unique natural habitats, birdwatching and swimming. The wetland habitat improvements from this restoration project will benefit the public through an overall enhancement of environmental conditions at the park, including removal of invasive species, restoration of native habitat, and continued action to improve water quality entering Lake Erie at a location directly adjacent to a public swimming beach.”
When complete, an anticipated 1.36 acres will be added to the current 3.26-acre area, bringing the total wetland to 4.62 acres. Construction will include the installation of a 5-foot-by-8-foot concrete box culvert; removal of invasive species, including Japanese knotweed, swallow wort and yellow iris; and installation of native plants, including approximately 126 trees, 4,184 shrubs and 9,840 herbaceous plants.
The press release said work will begin in late fall and will be completed by the summer of 2023. No permanent trail closures will occur, but there may be limited closures around construction areas.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses and boat launches, which, in 2021, were visited by record 78.4 million people. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app, or call 518-474-0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.