Clendening Lake Marina

79100 Bose Road  Freeport OH  43973   (740) 658-3691  Fax (740) 658-3596
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Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

Mission Statement
The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is dedicated to conservation and recreation conducted in harmony with flood control in the area of Ohio drained by the Muskingum River and its tributaries. Funded from income generated by the stewardship of its lands and waters, the Conservancy District strives to enhance the quality of life in the Muskingum Lakes Region and beyond.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) was created in 1933 for the purpose of flood control and conservation. But the great flood of 1913 was primarily responsible for the initial idea of the development of a Conservancy District.

The 1913 flood in Ohio caused great devastation in loss of life and property. After the flood, citizens pledged more than two million dollars to learn how future disasters might be prevented. In 1917, the Ohio Conservancy Act was passed. The new law permitted citizens of a threatened area to work together to plan, finance and manage a flood control project. Under the law a watershed area could be organized into a conservancy district, with the status of a political subdivision of the state and a public corporation. The Conservancy District would have the power to plan, construct and administer flood control and conservation projects.

Formation of MWCD
MWCD was formed in 1933. The original mandate for MWCD was to raise the necessary funds, and then plan, build and administer flood control and conservation projects. By 1938, the construction of 13 earthen dams and one concrete dam was completed. Responsibility for flood control was transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the Flood Control Act of 1939. MWCD is still responsible for conservation and recreation on its lands and waters, and works with the U.S. Army Corps of engineers to assist with flood control.

The dams creating the reservoirs for flood water retention were placed on the main tributaries of the Muskingum River. The reservoirs were placed there so the peak flow from any flood would be so reduced that communities along the main river would be safe. A natural offshoot of the flood control was due to the large reservoirs created, and the large public lands have been developed into camping areas, parks, lakes, marinas and youth camps.

What is a Watershed?
When it rains, water flows down hill -- but where that water goes helps explain a watershed. At any point in a water course, it drains to certain rivers and lakes. The Muskingum Watershed includes all of the area which drains into to the Muskingum River and its tributaries where it joins with the Ohio River.

Size of MWCD
MWCD is the largest conservancy district in the state, encompassing 18 counties, or one-fifth of the state. MWCD is bounded by Akron to the north, Marietta to the South, Mansfield to the west and Cadiz to the east. The 18 counties include Ashland, Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Richland, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Washington, and Wayne.

How MWCD is Administered
The organization is governed by a Conservancy Court made up of one common pleas court judge from each of the 18 counties in MWCD. MWCD was created by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Court under the provision of the Ohio Conservancy Act. The court appoints the five person Board of Directors who oversee the operations of the MWCD. The headquarters of the Conservancy District is in New Philadelphia, near the geographical center of the Conservancy District. MWCD is a local agency of government, not Federal or State.

Four Basic Policies of MWCD

bulletMWCD pays real estate taxes to the various counties on land not dedicated to public use.
bulletMWCD would operate on a minimum of tax income. MWCD is a government agency which receives no direct tax revenue for operations.
bulletMWCD makes its lands and waters available for a variety of recreational uses including fishing, hunting, boating, camping, swimming and other outdoor activities.
bulletMWCD does not duplicate the same work as any other federal or state agency. This policy encourages MWCD to combine the resources and efforts of state and federal agencies into MWCD programs.

MWCD operates on a self-sustaining basis - paid through visitors' fees, commercial and residential leases, contract services for other agencies, and federal and state grants.

Conservation is a key activity of MWCD assisting with flood control and providing income to the Conservancy District. An initial land use study was done of the MWCD lands adjoining its permanent lakes. The study found the majority of the land to be hilly, and badly eroded. All had originally been in timber. The study recommended these lands be utilized for forestry production. Forestry is now MWCD's main conservation activity. More than 12 million trees have already been planted and other original stands improved through conservation efforts.


We are open:
March weekends. April and October 10-4. May and September 9-5
Memorial Day through Labor Day:
Sunday - Thursday 8-6;  Friday 8-7; Saturday 7-7

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Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Info

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Web last updated:  Wednesday, August 07, 2002 05:18:35 AM

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