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Lake Erie Restoration and Environmental Issues

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"We poisoned your drinking water, and we feel entitled to do it again"  - Maumee River Watershed farmers

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My wife (then fiance) was in grad school at Toledo for 2 years during the height of the algae bloom issue.  I visited during some of the water shutoff times in 2014 and 2015. The entire time I visited those summers, I was wondering to myself, why would anyone live in a place that has no access to tap water for a week every summer? (not even mentioning how wary I was when the water even when bans were not in effect)

 

She loved Toledo, and I actually like the city too, but I told her the biggest reason I was staying in Cinci and not moving to Toledo after she graduated wasn't the snow, it was the ridiculous notion that I don't know how clean my water is at any given time in the summer and may be asked to not even use it. That's unacceptable.

 

I'm glad this passed, but the fact that it will get shot down in the court is disappointing.  I guarantee you Toledo is a much more attractive place to live to potential outsiders if this mess gets cleaned up. 

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Shouldn't access to clean water be a right?  I would think that is far more important than an individual farmer's right to pollute. Farmers should be no different than any other industry- adapt or die. 

All that said, the current political environment is as toxic as Lake Erie is to environmental concerns, so one way or another, this law is going to be struck down.

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Not sure if this belongs here. Please suggest another thread if it doesn't. Regardless, I never thought I would see the day.....

 

Cuyahoga River fish safe to eat, Ohio EPA says

https://www.cleveland.com/news/2019/03/cuyahoga-river-fish-safe-to-eat-ohio-epa-says.html


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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18 hours ago, KJP said:

Some national love...

 

Fish from Ohio's Cuyahoga River, Which Famously Caught Fire, Now Safe to Eat, EPA Says

https://weather.com/news/news/2019-03-19-cuyahoga-river-fish-safe-to-eat-epa-says

The state of our river was an inspiration for the creation of the EPA in 1970; it's oddly satisfying that 50 years after the last fire, some of that overhanging stigma tied to the river/region/city is being lifted. 


"We each pay a fabulous price
  for our visions of paradise."
     - ????, ???????

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Is there any reason to believe the Ohio EPA given the way the statehouse is run? Are they credible? Serious question.

Edited by metrocity

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Yearly Algae Forecast Looks Bad for Lake Erie

 

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that Lake Erie could expect a larger than usual toxic algae bloom this summer. The potential bloom is likely to be more severe than last year, and perhaps on par with some of the blooms that have plagued the lakeside communities in recent years.

 

“Algae” is a catchall term for a group of extremely simple, photosynthetic organisms that live in freshwater and in the ocean. Typically, algae are harmless, but occasionally a colony of algae can explode in size, releasing toxins that can be dangerous to plant, animal and sometimes human life. Even if a species of algae is not toxic, the sudden death and decay of huge amounts of algae can lower the water’s oxygen level. NOAA calls these algae explosions harmful algal blooms or HABs.

 

NOAA is able to forecast the severity of the HAB in Lake Erie because such blooms are fueled by runoff pollution. Runoff is another catchall term referring to what happens when rainwater collects different materials and substances in the ground and carries them to the nearest waterway, which eventually empties into Lake Erie. In the case of algae, the most significant runoff is manure and fertilizer spread on acres of farmland in the Erie watershed. All of that fertilizer is designed, of course, to help plants grow, and that includes algae. When fertilizer runoff hits the Lake, it supercharges the algae bloom.

 

More below:

https://www.columbusunderground.com/yearly-algae-forecast-looks-bad-for-lake-erie-jb1

 

algae.jpg


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Not really restoration, and sort of environmental, but interesting none the less! 

 

How much extra water is in Lake Erie now at its record high? - 79 days of flow over Niagara Falls

 

https://www.cleveland.com/datacentral/2019/06/how-much-extra-water-is-in-record-high-lake-erie-79-days-of-flow-over-niagara-falls.html?utm_campaign=clevelanddotcom_sf&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR0XtV5KAi_y5E-_YlXd_iXzmkaFYUZ8pShJMFXdknlsq-7L5HEiR5FsmYE

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On 5/16/2019 at 4:53 PM, ColDayMan said:

Yearly Algae Forecast Looks Bad for Lake Erie

 

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that Lake Erie could expect a larger than usual toxic algae bloom this summer. The potential bloom is likely to be more severe than last year, and perhaps on par with some of the blooms that have plagued the lakeside communities in recent years.

 

I don't really see this being the case anymore this year because barely any farmers in northern Ohio planted corn.  Corn gets the biggest dose of fertilizers which runoff contributes to algae bloom.  Still other triggers like animal manure runoff but the corn crop has been major contributor.

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19 minutes ago, gottaplan said:

I don't really see this being the case anymore this year because barely any farmers in northern Ohio planted corn.  Corn gets the biggest dose of fertilizers which runoff contributes to algae bloom.  Still other triggers like animal manure runoff but the corn crop has been major contributor.

That is interesting to know.  What are they growing now instead of corn? Why have they moved from planting corn?

 

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3 hours ago, freefourur said:

That is interesting to know.  What are they growing now instead of corn? Why have they moved from planting corn?

 

 

it's the rainiest season in over 30 years.  Corn needs to be planted by early May to be mature at harvest in spring.  For much of the midwest, corn crop is about 20% or less than what is typically planted.  It's pretty much past planting time for soybeans now also.

 

Many farmers are taking a major hit this year putting any crop out at this point - very likely to not even cover costs of fuel, seed, equipment, etc.  Some farmers I know are considering taking an insurance claim for "no crop" which is not much at all but it's better than spending money and effort to plant soybeans and risking a bad crop and low prices...

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4 hours ago, freefourur said:

That is interesting to know.  What are they growing now instead of corn? Why have they moved from planting corn?

 

 

Quote

Here are some U.S. Department of Agriculture figures about Ohio, which hasn’t even taken the brunt of the nation’s flooding:

■ As of June 2 only 33 percent of Ohio’s corn acreage and 18 percent of the state’s soybean acreage had been planted.

■ By this time of year, at least 90 percent of corn should have been planted, and 79 percent of soybeans should have been planted. And that’s based only on the most recent five-year average. Years ago plantings were made much earlier in the spring.

■ Ohio’s whopping 57 percent deviation from its most recent average for corn is second only to Indiana’s 63 percent deviation. Numerous other states have fallen far off pace, as well, because of soaked fields that haven’t been able to dry out enough to plant.

■ Ohio was down 61 percent from its most recent five-year average for planting soybeans as of June 2.

It’s important to note those are statewide averages, skewed upward by more central and southern Ohio farmers able to get into their fields than those in other parts of the state.

https://www.toledoblade.com/business/agriculture/2019/06/08/2019-corn-crop-could-be-a-wash/stories/20190607146

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Could also be crossed posted in a Climate Change thread. 

 

Great Lakes water levels have swung from record lows to record highs. Here’s why.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/11/08/great-lakes-water-levels-have-swung-record-lows-record-highs-heres-why/?fbclid=IwAR15Y7P0TJBuYSycb6RtxSDiE6sseUgJWP1nAT8i3-eLZbE1JnT8H9g30mc

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U.S. EPA announces $3.6 million in Lake Erie grants

Laura Johnston - Nov. 19, 2019

https://www.cleveland.com/news/2019/11/us-epa-announces-3-million-in-lake-erie-grants.html

 

"The U.S. EPA on Tuesday announced $3.6 million in grants to clean and protect Lake Erie. The five grants will remove the Brecksville dam on the Cuyahoga River ($800,000), improve wetlands on Sandusky Bay ($285,000), stabilize the banks of Euclid Creek ($374,865), reduce phosphorus runoff($1,000,000), control invasive species and address areas of concern across the lake.

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12 hours ago, TwoStickney419 said:


This article didn’t really explain why the opposition in any detail, but I’ll assume it’s 1. Polluted dredge material fears 2. possible intro of  non-native cattails. As an aside it’s 2020 and time for local/state governments to ONLY be allowed to plant native species. 
 

Anyhow I am pleasantly surprised to see the state moving forward with some serious wetland creation. Here’s hoping it all works out and sets a precedent for getting back our Lake wetlands - 97% was lost to development.  

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1 hour ago, Cleburger said:

Water levels have been disastrous. There has to be a way to mitigate this. I know the Niagara Falls already artificially affect things to some extent. Would it be smart to consider selling off this extra water, if it could be done in an ecologically acceptable manner? 

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On 2/1/2020 at 2:15 PM, surfohio said:


This article didn’t really explain why the opposition in any detail, but I’ll assume it’s 1. Polluted dredge material fears 2. possible intro of  non-native cattails. As an aside it’s 2020 and time for local/state governments to ONLY be allowed to plant native species. 
 

Anyhow I am pleasantly surprised to see the state moving forward with some serious wetland creation. Here’s hoping it all works out and sets a precedent for getting back our Lake wetlands - 97% was lost to development.  

So here's a makeshift petition that was dropped off to my work the other day.....  

 

It looks and sounds like a Donald Trump tweet

20200131_141457.jpg

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Lake Erie just broke February high water record -- and the lake level keeps rising

Feb 10, 3:40 PM -  Laura Johnston

Link: https://www.cleveland.com/news/2020/02/lake-erie-just-broke-february-high-water-record-and-the-lake-level-keeps-rising.html

 

"Lake Erie rose 5 inches in January. By the end of the month, lake levels were 7 inches above last January’s. And by Monday, the lake broke the February high water record, set in 1987."

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Ohio plans tighter runoff rules to help Lake Erie

 

Ohio wants to put Lake Erie on a stricter pollution diet to fight back against the blooms of toxic algae that have flourished for more than a decade, environmental regulators said Thursday.  The state plans to establish tougher regulations on runoff that’s feeding the outbreaks, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said.  It would limit how much of the pollution is allowed to flow into the lake’s western end.

 

It’s a significant shift in Ohio’s strategy to clean up the lake and comes after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine committed to spending $172 million over the next two years on a more comprehensive effort to clean up the shallowest of the Great Lakes.  For years, environmental groups have criticized the state’s resistance to adopting strict regulations, contending that the blooms have been preventing the lake from meeting basic water-quality standards.  “This is a giant step forward,” said Gail Hesse, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes water program.

 

A draft plan released Thursday outlines how the Ohio EPA will develop the regulations over two to three years, the agency said.  That process includes a close review of the pollution sources, determining how much pollution to reduce from each source, and coming up with an action plan. ... Nearly all of the phosphorus that fuels the blooms comes from farm fertilizer and livestock manure, researchers have found.  Supporters of the tougher regulations hope that farmers will be forced to change how they fertilize their fields and dispose of livestock manure.

 

MORE:  https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200214/ohio-plans-tighter-runoff-rules-to-help-lake-erie

 

AR-200219144.jpg

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