Ohio's Tiered Aquatic Uses
(Picture from Ohio EPA Tiered Aquatic Uses site)
The following is based on the Ohio Revised Code Rule 3745-1-07:
Exceptional Warmwater Habitat (EWH) is used for waters with unique and unusual assemblages of aquatic life (e.g., waters with the potential for significant populations of endangered species, unusually good chemical quality, above-average abundance of sensitive species, above-average populations of top carnivores).
Warmwater Habitat (WWH) is applicable to most of the state's rivers and streams. These waters are capable of supporting and maintaining a balanced integrated , adaptive community of warmwater aquatic organisms having a species composition, diversity, and functional organization.
Coldwater habitat is capable of supporting native colwater fish and associated vertebrate and invertebrate organisms and plans on an annual basis. Coldwater habitat designation is based on a Use Attainability Analysis."
Modified Warmwater Habitat (MWH) applies to extensively modified habitats that are capable of supporting the semblance of a warmwater biological community, but fall short of attaining WWH because of functional and structural deficiencies due primarily to altered macrohabitat.
The LRW designation applies to streams and channels that have has a Use Attainability Analysis(UAA) and habe been found to lack the potential for any resemblance of any other aquatic life habitat. The UAA must demonstrate that The use attainability analysis must demonstrate that the extant fauna is substantially degraded and that the potential for recovery of the fauna to the level characteristic of any other aquatic life habitat is realistically precluded due to natural background conditions or irretrievable human-induced conditions.
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