OWU Event: Water Management Careers – Students hear from Professionals

Ohio Wesleyan, City of Delaware, Ohio EPA Hosting Free Three-Day Speaker Series

OWU and the City of Delaware will collaborate with the Ohio EPA for an upcoming grant-supported speaker series on water management careers.

DELAWARE, Ohio – Designed for high school and college students, you’re invited to participate in a three-day, online “Careers in Water Management Speaker Series.”

The free event will be held Oct. 5-7 and provide information about careers in stormwater, wastewater, watershed, and drinking water management, among other fields.

The Delaware Run winds through the City of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan campus. (Photo by Cole Hatcher)

The event is supported by a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and presented by the OEPA in collaboration with Ohio Wesleyan University and the City of Delaware Public Utilities Department.

The speaker series will include panelists from both the public and private sector, and each session will conclude with a question-and-answer session.

Organizations confirmed to speak during the series include:

  • City of Delaware Public Utilities
  • Del-Co Water Co.
  • Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Ohio Clean Marinas
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Scenic Rivers
  • Ohio Sea Grant/OSU Extension
  • Phoenix Environmental

The sessions – also part of the OWU classes Introduction to Environment and Sustainability 100.1 and Conversations Toward a Sustainable Future 100.2/400.1 – are scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • 9:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. Oct. 5
  • 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6
  • 11:50 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Oct. 7

For access to the online Zoom sessions, email Caroline Cicerchi, Delaware’s watershed and sustainability coordinator, at ccicerchi@delawareohio.net. Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Environment and Sustainability Program at owu.edu/environment.

Do Something! OWU Volunteers Needed for Spring Cleaning & Planting

Last year President Trump and President Macron of France planted a lovely oak tree on the White House lawn. Sadly, the tree is now dead.

Let’s do better!

Tree planting and spring clean up opportunities abound. No big commitment. Please sign up soon and often:

A Scioto River Clean-up March 15th organized by a Buckeye Valley H.S. Student: Register here

OWA’s Earth Day Program April 4th at Delaware State Park: Register here

Blue Limestone Park Stream Clean-up from 4:30-5:30, April 15th: (weather back-up date is scheduled for April 16th same time and place) registration can be completed by emailing Caroline Cicerchi (here).

City of Delaware’s Earth Day Program April 22nd: Register here

The Scioto River if we didn’t do the river clean up every year:

 

 

Ohio Wesleyan Professor, Student, Entrepreneurial Center Businessman Earn 2019 Awards

(OWU News Source)

At the recent Keep Delaware County Beautiful Awards, Ohio Wesleyan professor Sean Kay, student Brianna Graber ’20, and entrepreneur-on-campus Steve Flaherty all were honored for their efforts to improve the environment.

The awards were handed out Dec. 4 by the Keep Delaware County Beautiful Coalition, which provides recycling and litter prevention programs and environmental education activities to county residents and businesses. The coalition is led by the Delaware General Health District.

Sean Kay, Ph.D.

Sean Kay, Ph.D., a politics and government professor, earned the group’s Garrison-Brown Award for his volunteer work at the 2019 Northern Olentangy Watershed Festival, Olentangy River Cleanup, and Scioto River Clean Sweep, where he used his kayaking expertise to keep volunteers safe and moving forward as they pulled debris from the water. According to the coalition, the Garrison-Brown Award “is given to recognize initiative and significant environmental contribution to the community.”

Although Kay is widely known as an expert in global security, he also is interested in environmental issues and currently is researching grassroots campaigns for river conservation in the United States and abroad.

In May and June, he will be traveling to Utah and Colorado with OWU students who completed his Travel-Learning Course, “Environmental Politics and Policy.” After a semester in class, the group will spend 10 days in the two western states, including a four-day river-rafting trip through Dinosaur National Monument. To prepare for the trip, Kay spent two weeks over the summer working as an assistant guide rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

As part of his hands-on research, Kay also has been working on the River Shannon, Ireland’s largest river, and exploring the Dublin Bay biosphere, a region recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for its environmental, economic, cultural, and tourism significance.

Brianna Graber ’20

Student Brianna Graber, a zoology major and Spanish minor from Noblesville, Indiana, was honored with the Keep Delaware County Beautiful’s 2019 Litter Prevention Award. She earned the award for spearheading a project to install a trash-collecting storm drain net in the Delaware Run, which flows through campus. The device collects trash and organic debris, which Graber and future OWU students will analyze to determine the net’s impact on the quality of the water.

Steve Flaherty

Entrepreneur Steve Flaherty earned the coalition’s 2019 Recycling Award for his work to develop technology that turns non-recyclable plastics into asphalt paving. His business, necoPlastics LLC, is headquartered at the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University.

The 6,000-square-foot entrepreneurial center is a collaboration of Ohio Wesleyan, Delaware County, and the City of Delaware. It is the first-of-its-kind liberal arts business accelerator and the first-of-its-kind city, county, and educational institute partnership.

The Keep Delaware County Beautiful coalition, led by the Delaware General Health District, provides recycling and litter prevention programs and environmental education activities to the residents and businesses of Delaware County. For a complete list of 2019 award winners, visit the health district news and events page.

OWU Student & Project Win Delaware County Award

Keep Delaware County Beautiful Recognizes Community Partners

DELAWARE, Oh. – Several community members, leaders, schools and groups received recognition at the annual Keep Delaware County Beautiful Awards that occurred on Dec. 4 at Stratford Ecological Center.

The Litter Prevention Award recognized Ohio Wesleyan University student Brianna Graber who coordinated with the City of Delaware on a project to install a storm drain net in Delaware Run on the OWU Campus. The 6-and-a-half ton device is the first of its kind installed in the United States and collects trash and organic debris. The collected waste will be analyzed and the water quality will be monitored giving the community a better picture of the health of our water resources.

More on the storm drain net:

Delaware Run Storm Drain Net Installed and Catching Crap!

OWU and City of Delaware Storm Drain Net Collaboration

Ohio Wesleyan Student Spearheads Creation of University’s Third Rain Garden

With climate change, water rights, and environmental politics dominating world discussions, Ohio Wesleyan University student Kayla Adolph ’20 of Toledo, Ohio, is addressing the issues on campus with a project 10 months in the making.

Collaborating with OWU students, faculty, and staff, as well as workers from the City of Delaware, Adolph spearheaded the installation of a rain garden this fall on the west side of Merrick Hall. The garden is the result of a project in professor John Krygier’s spring 2019 course, Geography 360: Environmental Geography.

More: Beauty and Function: Ohio Wesleyan Student Spearheads Creation of University’s Third Rain Garden

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.

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!

2nd Annual Delaware Run Watershed Walk: September 22, 2019

Mostly hidden and invisible, Delaware Run weaves itself through the fabric of the city and is often overlooked. The Watershed Walk on Sept. 22, 2019, will shed light on this important natural resource.

2nd Annual Delaware Run Watershed Walk: September 22, 2019

RSVP for this FREE event at Eventbright

Bring rubber boots or old shoes (and a towel for drying off)

Presented by the Boardman Arts Park and the Central Ohio Communities Project

When: September 22, 2019

1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.: Choices for level of involvement: a “short walk” (45 minutes), or a longer walk (90+ minutes), with 3-4 entry or exit points. Led by Local naturalists, historians, MAD Scientist Associates and others.

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: creation of a “Watershed mural”, Badminton and Bocce Ball, upcycle art creation, and other “earth art and sports” (non-fossil fuel fun!)

Mostly hidden and invisible, Delaware Run weaves itself through the fabric of the city and is often overlooked. The Watershed Walk on Sept. 22, 2019 will shed light on this important natural resource.

Participants can choose to do a deep exploration of the run or shorter jaunts along its course.

Local scientists and experts will lead our walks and will explore the history, ecology and geologic features of the stream scavenger hunt style. After the walks, we will meet at the Boardman Arts Park to enjoy refreshments, music and educational programming about the nature nearby.

 

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.

15th Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Photo source: Ohio EPA

15th Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Organized and Sponsored by:

When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, from 8 a.m.— 3:30 p.m.

Registration: There is no cost, and lunch is included. Pre-registration requested by Monday, October 1st. To register, please contact Erin Gibson at egibson@delcowater.com or 740-548-7746 ext. 2221.

Where: Ohio Wesleyan University

3rd floor of Merrick Hall: One building west of 50 South Henry St., Delaware 43015

*Parking in Selby Stadium Lot, 45 South Henry St.*


For the past 15 years, the Olentangy Watershed Forum has connected citizens and experts who wish to explore issues that impact the quality of life in the watershed. Please join us for state-of-the-watershed updates by the sponsors listed above along with Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District, the American Kayaking Association, and more! The cost to attend the Forum is free but registration is required. Seating is limited to 70, so walk-ins will be accommodated if space is available. Lunch will be provided. Participants can also expect a short walking tour to the proposed Delaware Run Restoration site.

Press Release: Here

Preliminary Agenda

8:00 – 9:00 Doors open for registration, coffee, and networking session
9:00 – 9:10 Welcome and Introduction – Caroline Cicerchi, City of Delaware
9:10 – 9:50 Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District, “Be the Change for Clean Water”
9:50 – 10:20 Heather Doherty, ODNR Scenic River Program, “Celebrating 50 Years of Ohio Scenic Rivers”10:20 – 10:35 BREAK
10:35 – 11:05 Dr. John Krygier, Ohio Wesleyan University, “Delaware Run Restoration Project”
11:05 – 11:45 Tour – Delaware Run restoration site
11:45 – 12:45 Lunch (included) and Networking
12:45 – 1:05 Jason Kentner, “Visioning for the Olentangy Watershed”
1:05 – 2:25 State of the Watershed Updates
1:25 – 1:40 BREAK

Update from Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) by Ryan Pilewski regarding the greenspace planning in the Olentangy. FLOW was formed as a non-profit 501(c)3 in August 1997. FLOW’s mission is to keep the Olentangy River and its tributaries clean and safe for all to enjoy, through public education, volunteer activities, and coordination with local decision-makers.

Update from Del-Co Water by Jeff Kauffman. Del-Co Water Company, Inc. was formed in 1969 and provides quality drinking water to seven counties (Delaware, Morrow, Marion, Knox, Franklin, Union, and Crawford) serving a population of over 140,000.

Update from Preservation Parks by Chris Roshon. The mission of Preservation Parks of Delaware County is to protect and conserve the natural and historic features of Delaware County and to inspire outdoor exploration and learning.

Update from City of Delaware and Olentangy Watershed Alliance (OWA) by Caroline Cicerchi. The City of Delaware works diligently to protect existing storwmater infrastructure as well as the Olentangy River and its tributaries through its Stormwater Management Plan. OWA was formed as a non-profit in April 1999, with a mission to work in partnership with agriculture, urban, and other local communities to understand, appreciate, and responsibly use the Olentangy River, its tributaries, and watershed.

2:25 – 2:45 Sami Spiezio, American Kayaking Association, “Recreational Opportunities on the Olentangy”
2:45 – 3:15 Paul Freedman, City of Columbus, “Columbus Zoning Updates”
3:15 – 3:30 Eric Saas, Ohio EPA, “Rush Run Monitoring”