Let’s look at two wetland projects. One, the Sandy Ridge Reservation in North Ridgeville, will serve as our gold standard. The other, at Lake Abram in southern Cuyahoga County, is a work in progress with high aspirations. Federal law requires wetlands used for public or private development to be replaced by wetlands in another area.
The prime beneficiary of this land-swap arrangement in Northeast Ohio is Sandy Ridge, one of the state’s finest birding destinations. In the 17 years since its 310 acres of farmland were restored to wetland, Sandy Ridge has become a vital stop for migrating shorebirds, waterfowl, waders and songbirds, and a host for nesting bald eagles, sandhill cranes, rails and woodpeckers.