The Mentor Marsh is the centerpiece of a complex ecosystem along six miles of Lake Erie coastline. It includes more than 1,400 acres of ecologically sensitive green space and opportunities for passive recreation. The Marsh ecosystem became a National Natural Landmark in 1966 due to its biological diversity, natural beauty, and importance as a migratory waypoint for birds and butterflies. It became Ohio’s first Nature Preserve in 1971.
Green infrastructure, including permeable pavement and bioretention, was installed in spring 2016 to reduce the amount of untreated stormwater runoff to Mentor Marsh and Lake Erie. These systems mimic natural landscapes by soaking up water, cooling it down, and filtering out pollutants. This green infrastructure project is one of very few in the entire state of Ohio at a marina and serves as a demonstration of cost-effective, environmentally-friendly stormwater management for others to follow.
This site has 24,600 square feet of permeable pavement. Stormwater flows into the spaces between the pavers and is filtered through layers of rock before it is slowly released from an underdrain into the native soil to recharge the groundwater and Mentor Marsh.
3,200 square feet of bioretention was installed to treat drainage from the boat storage facility building and perimeter area. Rainwater is taken up by deep-rooted, native plants and drains through layers of sandy soil and gravel that filter out pollutants. The plants also serve as habitat and food for native pollinators.
The City of Mentor received financial support for this project in the amount of $250,000 from the US EPA through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.