Monday, March 4, 2013

Week 8 Featured Journal Entries

This week's featured entries come from Zoe Doss, Cheyenne Hassan, and Jeff Uckotter.

Week 8 Journal Prompt

Profile a collaborative environmental management effort in Cincinnati, your hometown, or someplace in Ohio. Use a combination of media, including (but not necessarily limited to) videos, photos, sketches, and links to news articles and relevant websites, to create a holistic snapshot of the problem the effort confronts and the effort’s mission, activities, accomplishments, and challenges. Supplement these materials with your own narrative as necessary to introduce and tie together each media element. Cite materials not your own as appropriate. This profile must contain at least three different types of media (e.g., photos, news articles, and a video; or news articles, organizational website screen shots, and photos) and have 2–6 paragraphs of narrative in total.

Zoe's Week 8 Journal Entry

Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative 2012

The stated goal of the Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative is to reduce algae blooms (pictured below) in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The effort brings together stakeholders in a voluntary and participatory fashion "with a goal of educating and training farmers and other interested parties on agricultural nutrient management and stewardship" (Clean Lakes Initiative 2012). (The initiative also deals with Grand Lake St. Mary's to a lesser extent, but here I will focus on Erie.) The agencies involved are the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio EPA, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

All Things Great Lakes 2012,

The effort focuses exclusively on agriculture to reduce Nitrogen and Phosphorus loads reaching the lake. This may be a wise strategy, because as noted by Layzer, CEG can get to have too many elements and it may be most effective to address solely the source with the biggest contribution (Layzer 2012). The initiative's programs mainly deal with encouraging farmers to employ best management practices. The following video goes into some detail about their suggestions, including controlled drainage systems and planting of cover crops. More information on the specific actions can be found at:

Ohio Department of Agriculture 2012,
While I was able to find news about the work being done (screenshots below), I was not able to find any assessment of the initiative in regards to its actual impact on water quality. While the EPA monitors Erie, as we discussed in class it is difficult to attribute the conditions to specific programs. 

Ohio Environmental Law Blog 2012,

Voice of America 2012,

The articles here speak to the bridge between science and agriculture being made. Going through the news, I didn't find anything about resistance to the program, but it may exist somewhere in agribusiness. 
Ohio Farm Bureau 2012:

Ohio AgriBusiness Association 2012, 2012,

One accomplishment of the Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative is the establishment of the Healthy Lake Erie Fund. The three million dollars is to be used to "monitor the condition of Lake Erie, provide testing for the soil in the Western Lake Erie Basin and support pilot project to help determine the most effective action to combat the growing algae crisis in Lake Erie" (Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative 2012). 

Overall, I would commend the effort for its focus. Its funding seems like a success, but it seems to early to assess the environmental outcomes of its best management practices programs. Perhaps through these voluntary CEG efforts we will be able to see nutrient loads and algae blooms in Lake Erie lessen.


Layzer, Judith A. The Environmental Case (D.C.: CQ Press, 2012), 478.

Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative. "General Information." 2012. Accessed March 1, 2013.

Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative. "Healthy Lake Erie Fund." 2012. Accessed March 1, 2013.

Cheyenne's Week 8 Journal Entry

The University of Cincinnati's Sustainability group through the years has set up a "UC Garden", one of the gardens that has prospered the most is the Soiled Hands Learning Garden which is a collaborative effort between The Civic Garden Center and the UC Early Learning Center. These two organizations bring both individuals with a green thumb and young children whom are willing to learn about the art of seeding, growing, and reaping the benefits of an urban garden.

This collaborative effort between these two helpful organizations promises a future for both urban gardens and increasing green space in the city of Cincinnati, as well as in the University of Cincinnati's grounds, but also promises future adults that will have experience in urban gardening and a better respect for the environment within Cincinnati. This is a wonderful idea because it promises a future in environmental education, not through books, but through hard work which hopefully will be carried out generation to generation. Teaching children and young adults this skill will allow for a greener Cincinnati and also the support of locally grown produce.

The above photo is a screen shot of the Earth Week calendar for the University of Cincinnati, where there will be an event occurring within the Soiled Hands Learning Garden.

The two pictures above show individuals working in the Soiled Hands Learning Garden, the left most shows children learning to plant and better understand how gardening works, and the right most shows young adults that are affiliated with UC Sustainability tending to the gardens.

This article was produced by Amanda Amsel which talks about The Civic Garden Center's efforts to strengthen urban gardening efforts within Cincinnati and the types of events put on to raise public awareness and involvement within the community.

Works Cited

Right Photo:

Left Photo:

"UC Garden." UC Sustainability. University of Cincinnati. Web. 28 Feb 2013. <>.

Amsel, Amanda. "Going Green Gets Easier." City Beat. 17 Aug 2011: Web. 28 Feb. 2013. <>.

"Earth Week." UC Sustainability. University of Cincinnati. Web. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. <>

Jeff's Week 8 Journal Entry.

Acid Water + Limestone Doser = Fishies

My collaborative environmental management effort resides near Athens, Ohio in Southeastern Ohio. During my time as a wee little Freshman at Ohio University, I was lucky enough to take a field trip to the Hewitt Fork in Raccoon Creek. The class was actually an environmental geography class which fits perfectly into my curriculum now; it’s interesting how my coursework has come full circle. 

Anyway, this site is home to the mouth of an abandoned coal-mine which is one of many in this region of the United States which is Appalachia. Coal is salient to the public due to the negative effects it can have on air quality in terms of the EPA’s six NAAQS source pollutants. But, what is not so salient is the unabated daily 24/7/365 discharge of polluted abandoned-mine water that discharges out of these mines. Of course the problem with the water is its PH, or how acidic or alkaline it is.
Apparently, the mines in southeast Ohio are particularly known for their acidity. According to a study titled, Selected Abandoned Mined Land Reclamation Projects and Passive Treatment in Ohio by Mitchell Farley and Paul Ziemkiewicz, “ The Conemaugh and Monongahela groups of Eastern and Northeastern Ohio may produce acid or alkaline mine drainage, but there effects are much less pronounced than the strong acid mine drainage produced in the Allegheny and Pottsville groups of Southeastern Ohio. The Hocking River and Raccoon Creek drainages are particularly troublesome restoration areas (Farley et al, 1).” So, this is a serious problem. According to the same publication, over 1300 miles of steams are polluted by mine drainage in Ohio (Farley et al, 1).

Map (1)

So, why is this a big deal? Who cares if the streams are a little bit acidic. Right? Well, the wildlife cares. As some trees do not like acidic soil, aquatic life does not like water that is too much acidity or alkalinity. How would you like to swim in water that is probably more acidic than lemon juice? I know I wouldn’t… According to the publication listed above, “High flow discharges from an abandoned underground mines rendered Hewett Fork virtually lifeless for miles downstream and periodically impacted Raccoon Creek at low flow. An anaerobic wetland was installed by ODNR at the site in 1991. Performance of the wetland became unsatisfactory over time. After consultation with the Maryland Bureau of Mines, ODNR installed an AquaFix water wheel type doser in late 2003 (Farley et al. 4).” Incidentally, this is where the described field trip occurred. During this field trip, we viewed the doser. What it basically does is inserts crushed lime into the infected [acidic] water. Limestone of course is a basic or alkaline substance. Alkaline + Acidic = a more leveled PH’ed water, which allows wildlife to frequent the once-infected water. This doser site was rather rudimentary, but it seemed to lower the PH of the water father downstream and we viewed signs of life in the water roughly a mile away from the doser. Unfortunately, this is not the only point source that affects this water-way. But, for length considerations of this journal, this was one step to curb PH pollution in the Hewitt Fork watershed. In due time, fish returned to the once affected waters. It was interesting, in the other publication that I found on this issue, it dealt with the idea of the Carbondale doser being shut down for a week, and unsurprisingly, the results showed negative affects on a aquatic lives.
Image (2)

This issue is being tackled by a number of stakeholders including academic institutions like Ohio University and state agencies like the ODNR. According to the publication listed above, " Since 1994, a partnership of agencies and citizens groups have been organizing watershed restoration projects in some of the most profoundly polluted stream systems. Partnerships often include Watershed Coordinators, their staff and citizen members, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OPEA, the Office of Surface Mining (OSMRE, Colleges and Universities, local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the US Forest Service and others (Farlet et al., 1)." This is clearly an example of collaborative governance.

The Youtube clip below from :50 - 6:50 describes a very similar situation with acidic mine drainage in an WV stream. It is from the official WV Department of Environmental Protection Youtube Channel. While the doser they use in this clip isn't the same as the one at Carbondale in Ohio, it's the same sort of idea. It's actually an interesting watch if you have the time.

Works Cited

1. Kruse Et Al. "When Dosers Turn Off: A Case Study in Raccoon Creek, Ohio." Ohio University, 2011. Web.

2. Mitchell E. Farley, and Paul Ziemkiewicz. "Selected Abandoned Mined Land Reclamation Projects and Passive Treatment in." N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

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