Environment

Ryan Von Linden
New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Across the Midwest and eastern U.S., an estimated 6 million bats have died from a devastating scourge that first appeared nine years ago. And while there’s been a recent glimmer of hope in treating bats with White Nose Syndrome, researchers say it’s going to be hard to recover from the damage done to these flying mammals.

The St. Kateri Preserve at Calvary Cemetery is among a handful of green burial options in the area.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The “green” movement is headed underground—to the grave, that is. More and more cemeteries around the country are offering burial options that use fewer materials and less energy; some are landscaped with native plants and trees. These simplified burials can also be cheaper—but there’s often a catch.

At a dedication ceremony for the St. Kateri Preserve at Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, Marge Devito and her husband Bill watch as a priest blesses the site. Bill has a terminal illness—and they love the idea of burying him in a nature preserve.

Bottles of Lake Erie water are tested in a lab.
Brian Bull / WCPN

Researchers at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) say they’ve begun testing water samples with the latest technology, following last summer’s water shutdown in Toledo.

Hundreds of swimmers will soon take to the lake as the weather warms up. And some swimmers will perhaps pause to ask: “How clean is the water? Are there contaminants, pollutants? Is there a risk of blue-green algae?”

A sign for discounted E85 ethanol fuel. A requirement for alternative fuels in state vehicles has been removed from the Ohio Department of Transportation budget. gas cars
Sweeter Alternative / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) budget signed last week includes a change for the state’s vehicle fleet: the budget cuts out a requirement on alternative fuels that had been in place for most of a decade.

The ODOT budget eliminates the 2006 requirement to use a certain amount of ethanol and biodiesel in state vehicles. It’s about time, says Greg Lawson with the conservative think tank the Buckeye Institute.

Ohio Getting Over $4M To Fight Toxic Algae In Lake Erie

Mar 30, 2015
Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory

The money will come from the federal the Great Lakes Restoration fund and go toward projects in the Maumee River watershed and the Sandusky River watershed in northwestern Ohio.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says much of the money will toward preventing phosphorus from getting into the lake and fueling the algae.

Some will be used to fund projects that will take cropland out of production, install field runoff retention systems and restore six miles of stream channels to their natural habitat.

"Great Flood of 2015" picture posted on Flickr. Areas near Cincinnati were flooded for days following spring rains.
5chw4r7z / Flickr/Creative Commons

CINCINNATI (AP) — Forecasters expect the Ohio River to remain above flood stage for most of this week after reaching its highest level in two decades.

The National Weather Service says the river was at 57.1 feet this morning, after cresting Sunday morning at 57.7 feet. That was seven feet below the 1997 level that caused severe, widespread flooding in the Cincinnati area and in Kentucky.

Ohio's high court recent ruling limits local power over gas drilling.
WCPN

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that cities can’t enforce local laws banning fracking if the state has issued a permit to a driller. 

Farm Bureau Wants to Avoid Unintended Consequences with Water Quality Proposals

Feb 4, 2015
Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory

Gov. John Kasich included cleaning up Lake Erie as a priority in his two-year budget proposal, and farmers seem ready to work with the governor—to a point.

To reduce the amount of harmful algae growth in Lake Erie and other public waterways, the governor’s office proposes banning the use of manure on frozen or rain-saturated farmland, among other measures.

An overgrown field was a golf course not long ago.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Since the recession, more than 100 golf courses have closed each year in the U.S., but what happens to all that green? Turns out some golf courses are going even greener: they're getting "re-wilded."

In a dry, overgrown field of thistles and goldenrod, Michael Enright, the conservation manager with Five Rivers MetroParks, explains that not too long ago, this was a trim, manicured golf course called Larch Tree.

“I’ve been to Africa several times and it reminds me of the savannah there when I look out across it,” said Enright.

The Great Miami River is connected to the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, where Dayton gets its water.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finished a one-year study of the Great Miami River Corridor, which looked at opportunities for economic development along a 99-mile stretch. The area studied runs from around Sidney, up in Shelby County, down to the city of Hamilton in Butler County.

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