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.
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.
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.