Environment

Logo / Dayton Regional Green

The City of Dayton and Montgomery County moved this week to sign resolutions to make the region more “green” in the coming years. Leaders are encouraging businesses to take on basic environmental practices, and asking individuals to do more recycling and energy conservation.

The city and county’s goals for the Dayton Regional Green Initiative include certifying 1,500 companies as “green,” and planting 100,000 trees by 2016. They also want 25 percent of the region’s waste to be recycled.

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

Algal blooms are once again causing problems for lakes and streams in Ohio this summer. But farmers are combating the situation, and so far, they’re getting some help from the weather.

When rain falls on farm fields that have been treated with fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus, whatever chemicals haven't soaked deep enough into the soil, or made their way into the crops, can end up in nearby streams and lakes. That runoff is feeding nutrients to harmful algal blooms. 

Full episode of WYSO Weekend for August 4, 2013 including the following stories:

- Officials Differ On Emergency Phone Alert During Yellow Springs Standoff, by Emily McCord

- Cityfolk Cancels 2014 Season, by Jerry Kenney

- Wildlife Boom in Local MetroParks, by Community Voices producer Ron Rollins

Ohio environmental officials are focusing on six major streams as they try to cut pollutants that help toxic algae thrive in the state's lakes and other waterways.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has for years worked to cut manure and fertilizer runoff from Ohio farms and pollutants from sewage treatment plants that contribute to poisonous blooms of blue-green algae in Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state EPA will focus on the Scioto, Great Miami, Maumee, Sandusky, Cuyahoga and Wabash rivers.

CarrieLu

Antioch College says that a new conservation land easement will ensure that Glen Helen near Yellow Springs will be forever preserved and open to the public.

It's first of two phases designed to protect the popular recreational destination.  WYSO's Licensee, Antioch University was a co-granter on the easement.  Both the University and College worked with the Trust for Public Land to complete the deal. 

Nick Boutis with Antioch College is Director of the Glen Helen Ecology Institute.  He says protecting the Glen has been a priority for decades.

The invasive emerald ash borer is spreading across Ohio, ruining trees and costing taxpayers.

The exotic Asian beetle has been in Ohio nearly a decade, and Ohio State University expert Joe Boggs says it is spreading like a wild fire.  The toll is mounting, too.  Besides causing local governments to divert funds for eradication efforts, homeowners are paying for treatments and private contractors, and the loss of ash trees.

Environmental activists and consumer advocates are breathing a sigh of relief. Ohio lawmakers apparently are NOT going to change the state’s energy efficiency program during the last days of the current legislative session.

The program requires electric companies to lower overall power usage by giving money to people and businesses that buy energy-saving appliances and equipment. To fund the program, all electricity customers pay a surcharge on their monthly electric bills.

Algae Treatment at Grand Lake Isn't Working

Oct 15, 2012

A two-year, $8.5 million project to stop toxic algae in Ohio's largest inland lake isn't working.
 
The 13,000-acre Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio was sprayed with aluminum sulfate in April that was supposed to keep the blue-green algae from feeding on phosphorous in the water. A similar treatment was applied last year.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that this year's treatment was spoiled by high winds that helped stir phosphorus-rich mud from the lake bottom.

The U.S. Forest Service says the shale drilling technique for natural gas known as hydraulic fracturing can take place in a national forest in southeast Ohio.

The Forest Service released its report Monday after a study of a land and resource management plan drafted in 2006 for the Wayne National Forest.

Forest Supervisor Anne Carey says that plan can adequately address any damage and risks to the forest from the gas extraction method also known as fracking.

She also says a new environmental impact study is not needed.

Named for Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, the hometown of their founder, the Rabbit Hash String Band is a four-piece string and vocal band.  They visited the WYSO studios for a live performance and to chat with Niki Dakota about their music and their namesake community.

Pages