Environment

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.

Army Corps Completes Great Miami River Corridor Study

Jan 12, 2015
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.

Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory

Toxic blue-green algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, are a growing problem in Ohio’s lakes, and grabbed the attention of the whole country after the bacteria shut down Toledo’s water system last summer.

Brian Bull / WCPN

 A report from a conservation group names the Lake Erie watershed among the top ten “special places” that need to be protected, but not everyone agrees on what the lake and its tributaries most need to be protected from.

Driving Electric

Dec 29, 2014

“Electricity is the thing ... no whirring and grinding gears …  no water-circulating system to get out of order — no dangerous and evil-smelling gasoline and no noise.”  That’s what Thomas Edison said about electric cars over a century ago.  University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha and some of his colleagues have been taking this to heart.  Here’s Bob with some thoughts on driving electric.

Susy Morris / Flickr Creative Commons

People are happy at the pump these days in Ohio.  Right now gasoline costs well below $3.00 per gallon. Heating with natural gas has gotten cheaper over the past few years.    Both of these trends have to do with fracking.  University of Dayton Professor Bob Brecha has some thoughts about the long-term costs and benefits of going after increasingly difficult fossil fuel deposits.

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