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Demonstration of Drainage Channel Restoration to Improve Stream Integrity and Maintain Flow Capacity

Year Awarded: 1999
Awarded: $394,000
Team Leader:  The Ohio State University

This team constructed a 3000-foot-long, two-stage agricultural ditch and effectively demonstrated that the new design could improve ecosystem function while performing as well as traditional agricultural drainage channels. The two-stage, low-bench design adds more surface area to drainage channels, which reduces erosion and allows the channels to filter more of the agricultural wastewater that flows past. Team members monitored the prototype they had built in Woods County, Ohio and determined that the design improved water quality, channel stability and local habitat diversity. This ‘naturally stable’ design gained popularity with The Nature Conservancy and is now being put to use across Indiana.