Another TPG started in ENVS 110!

 

Savannah will be interviewed on the Mid Ohio Breakfast Club Radio Show on Friday, October 14 around 8:15am. The show airs weekdays from 6am-9am on My967 at 96.7 FM or AM 1270 WDLR.

Adopt-A-Drain

Ohio Wesleyan Student Collaborates to Launch Water-Quality Improvement Program

By Cole Hatcher

Savannah Domenech ’25

DELAWARE, Ohio – As a high school student volunteering to clean up litter in her New York hometown, Savannah Domenech quickly realized that a coordinated, continuous effort involving lots of people was necessary to make the type of permanent, positive environmental impact she sought to achieve.

As an Ohio Wesleyan University student, Domenech, a sophomore from Webster, New York, found an opportunity to collaborate with the City of Delaware and the community to improve local water quality. This month, she is spearheading the launch of the city’s Adopt-a-Drain program that invites people to adopt storm drains and clean them regularly to prevent trash and other debris from entering area waterways.

“Be a stormwater hero – adopt a drain!” said Domenech, an Environmental Studies and Geography double-major. “Any person can agree to do a biweekly clean-up on and around a storm drain of their choosing within Delaware City.”

Those who choose to participate are improving the environment with “simple, quick actions” that will help to reduce localized flooding, improve stormwater quality, and enhance community and neighborhood cleanliness, she said.

Domenech began working on the Adopt-a-Drain project in her ENVS 110 (Introduction to Environment and Sustainability) class and has earned an OWU Connection grant to help her launch the Adopt-a-Drain program.

She is beginning the project in earnest this month by encouraging members of the OWU campus community to adopt drains to clean and maintain. In November, she plans to roll out the program to the larger Delaware community when a Stormwater Watch Quarterly newsletter will be mailed to residents with their utility bills and posters will be posted around downtown. More details and sign-up information are available online now at stormwater.owu.edu.

David Soliday, Ohio Wesleyan’s instructional technologist, was first in line to adopt a drain and help Domenech test the program’s protocols.

“I’m happy to help,” said Soliday, also a longtime member of the Sustainable Delaware environmental community group. “As an adopter, I’ll be keeping the drain clear of debris. This includes leaves in the fall, and any kind of trash or litter. I have committed to fill out a brief survey when I do, to track how much and what kind of debris I collect.

“These drains empty into the Olentangy River, which is the source of our tap water in the city,” said Soliday, who hopes others embrace the green initiative. “Excessive debris can clog the pipes, and otherwise complicate matters downstream, where the same river is a valuable resource for Worthington, Columbus, and other communities. My taking responsibility for this drain also helps raise awareness of our connection to the natural world around us.”

As people adopt drains, Domenech said, their “I’m adopted!” choices will be mapped online using the ArcGIS Online software.

Domenech’s project is being completed in collaboration with the City of Delaware’s Department of Public Utilities; Erin Wolfe, the city’s watershed and sustainability coordinator; and Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Environment and Sustainability.

Press release below duplicated from here.

Update: Summer Experience for Central Ohio Internship Students

The Summer ’22 ROAR Academy is a great “add-on” to any Central Ohio student in an internship related to environment & sustainability. The Academy includes some training and credentialing, social events, and excursions. The experience also promotes networking with a significant group of central Ohio organizations and professionals.

A tentative schedule of activities is below. Cool stuff. Three OWU students are participating and about a dozen additional students from Kenyon, Denison and Otterbein.

Contact: Terry Hermsen: thermsen@otterbein.edu

PDF of the above image is here.

Sept. 11: Olentangy River Festival!

The 8th Annual Olentangy River Festival will be held Saturday, September 11. For the first time, the festival is being held during the academic year, and OWU students can more easily participate.

Students who want to volunteer can contact John Krygier (ENVS)

Food & Farm & Enviro Education Internships, central Ohio, Summer 2021

 

Two partner institutions, the Seminary Hill Farm at MTSO and Stratford Ecological Center & Farm are offering summer 2021 internships. Both locations are just south of OWU.

For students interested in sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and science education.

Please apply soon if you are interested: Please share these opportunities with others.

SEMINARY HILL FARM (AT MTSO)

These are full-time, paid internships working at the farm. You can arrange course internship credit through OWU if you wish.

Details on internships here.


STRATFORD ECOLOGICAL CENTER

Sustainable Agriculture Intern:
Contact Jeff at farmscaper@stratfordecologicalcenter.org

Environmental Education Intern
Contact April at aprilhoy@stratfordecologicalcenter.org

5th Grade Life Sciences Intern:
Contact Katryn at onthetrails@stratfordecologicalcenter.org

Details on internships here.

OWU Sustainability Task Force: Climate Homework for September

At our first Sustainability Task Force (STF) Meeting for the Fall of 2020, we heard from Jess Wilber of the Citizens Climate Lobby. Jess provided us with some “homework” to do in the next month, nicely summarized on the graphic included in this post. Click on the image for a PDF file of the document.

If you missed the meeting, it was recorded and you can watch it here.

Efforts include joining the OWU and national CCL group, registering to vote, getting involved in calling campaigns (they work!), getting involved in letter-writing campaigns (they work too), and registering for climate-related events.

OWU’s student chapter is already hard at work on these efforts. The student chapter of CCL meets every 1st and third Sunday at 4-4:30ish for an hour or so, and has additional events planned for the Fall semester. Please contact us if you want to attend these Zoom meetings.

For our next STF meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 13 (6:30-7:30 pm, Zoom) Jess will rejoin us to see how we are doing, and we can talk about and plan more efforts for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

See you at the next STF Meeting!

 

Interactive Maps of Greenspace around Lower Olentangy Watershed

Interactive maps are HERE.

The Greenspace Analysis summarizes existing GIS layers to identify land important for preservation. A scoring system was developed with consideration of parcel-based features (e.g. Parks & Golf Courses), linear features (e.g. Trails & Utility Easements), and features that span multiple parcels (e.g. Wetland & 100yr Floodplains).

Two scoring displays can be viewed in the web maps HERE. Screenshot below:

Additional interactive maps include

Find Your Home Watershed, Watershed Characteristics, Development in the Watershed, and Dams on the Lower Olentangy River: all HERE.

16th Annual Olentangy Forum, Tues. October 15th @ Merrick Hall

Once again OWU is hosting the Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum, Tuesday, October 15 from 9-3:30, Merrick Hall 3rd Floor.

The forum consists of central Ohio professionals reviewing the state of the Olentangy Watershed.

Registration (free) is requested by October 8th: calling or email Erin Gibson at egibson@delcowater.com or 740-548-7746 ext. 2221.

Lunch is included. Include dietary restrictions when registering.

Delaware Run Storm Drain Net Installed and Catching Crap!

Ohio Wesleyan University senior Brianna Graber has spent the past year planning and conducting water-quality research on the Delaware Run, which flows through the university campus and into the Olentangy River.

Her work included collaborating with the City of Delaware to install a 4-foot-high, 18.5-foot-wide, concrete-weighted storm drain net directly into the waterway. Put in place by crane Sept. 9, the 13,000-pound trapezoidal net is now capturing trash and green debris (organic waste such as lawn clippings and leaves). The net is one of the first installed in Ohio and the nation.

More information: Net Benefits: OWU News & Media

Visit the storm drain net: then social media it: #delrunstormdrainnet

The storm drain net is accessible from the OWU campus, just east of the 2nd footbridge east of S. Sandusky St.:

A video of the storm drain net in Delaware Run (Sept. 25, 2019)

Rain last weekend started the process of filling the net and trapping stream debris just upstream from the net (below). An assortment of larger trash along with quite a large amount of organic material is evident. Most notable is the impressive collection of cigarette butts.

Brianna Graber (OWU 2020) has been testing Delaware Run water, and will be able to compare water quality before and after the storm drain net installation. Material caught in the storm drain net will be analyzed for content (organic vs waste, etc.). The effects of such larger water-bourne materials on water quality is the focus of Graber’s work.

The presence of so many cigarette butts is of interest. Not only do cigarette butts contain plastic, but they also contain chemicals including nicotine. Some studies have began to investigate the impact of nicotine and other contaminants from cigarette butts on urban water (see Littered cigarette butts as a source of nicotine in urban waters, Journal of Hydrology
Volume 519, Part D, 27 November 2014, Pages 3466-3474).

Analyzing the contents of the storm drain net will allow the City of Delaware and other collaborators to understand and create target efforts to reduce specific kinds of waste, and to understand how both human generated and organic waste effect water quality.

Watch here for updates and let us know if you have questions!

OWU and City of Delaware Storm Drain Net Collaboration

Students and faculty have been working a project to implement a storm drain net in the Delaware Run on campus. The purpose of the net will be to remove trash and green waste/debris from the Delaware Run behind Merrick on campus.

Beginning in the Fall of 2018, Janelle Valdinger, Dr. John Krygier and I (Brianna Graber) have been cohesively working a project to implement a storm drain net in the Delaware Run, on OWU’s campus. The purpose of this project will be for Summer Science Research through Ohio Wesleyan University and for an internship with the City of Delaware. The purpose of the net will be to remove trash and green waste/debris from the Delaware Run behind Merrick on campus.
I will be using funding from the City of Delaware, a Theory to Practice Grant from Ohio Wesleyan that I wrote and was awarded, as well as a donation from FLOW (Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed), DelCo Water Co., and the American Kayaking Association (AKA). These funds will be used to obtain and purchase the net and research supplies, fund the machinery used for the project, and create an educational sign.
We will be in constant contact with the company used in purchasing and constructing the net, StormX, to give measurements and data for the net as well.
As of mid-January, the run area behind Merrick was surveyed for data and measurements to begin constructing the net and the order will be placed soon.
     
The goal is to have the net delivered mid-April in order to stay on schedule for Summer Science Research. As of right now, the plan is still on track.