OWU Faculty Sean Kay on California’s Stanislaus River

Dr. Kay teaches, among other things, PG 280 Environmental Politics and Policy at OWU. He’s co-authored a new article on environmental policy and the Stanislaus River in California (link).

As many know, in the last few years, I’ve taken a dive into teaching and research on environmental issues.  I’m very excited that this paper that I have co-authored with Dakota Goodman has been published by Friends of the River this week – “Deliver the River:  States’ Rights, Cost-Benefit, and Environmental Justice on California’s Stanislaus River.”  Friends of the River is the non-profit in California that my father helped to co-found in 1973, to lead the campaign to save the Stanislaus from a wasteful and unneeded New Melones Dam and Reservoir.  After my father passed away, I got his files on this, and we were able to use those to rerun and update the case against the dam, including cost-benefit assumptions, and we have shown the extent of the loss, and lies, that were used to sell the dam – and document the harm it has done ecologically and to local communities.  And, we show the way forward to deliver the river, finally about 50 years later, so that the Camp 9 Run on the Stanislaus can finally be liberated and a better way of water management achieved in California.

I hope folks can take a few minutes and read (and feel free to share!) the article – it’s both a strong personal tribute to my dad, but more importantly to the river we all lost, and yet still remains under the reservoir, waiting to flow once more.

More information here.

OWU Sponsored Event: 17th Annual Virtual Olentangy Watershed Forum, Thursday, Oct. 22

17th Annual Virtual Olentangy Watershed Forum, October 22, 2020


Recording of event is here.


Please register using this Eventbrite link. To get the Zoom link, check your email (OWU students, staff and faculty) or contact Carline Cicerchi or John Krygier.


The Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum brings together a series of speakers to discuss the status of the watershed. This year features Keynote speaker Jonathan Overpeck, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the United Nations advisory group on climate change and Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, “American Rivers and Climate Change: a Tale of Two Hydrologic Extremes”

The forum is great for regional practitioners as well as students, who can network and make contacts for internships and projects.


8:00 – 8:10 Welcome and introductions, Sean Kay, Ohio Wesleyan University

8:10 – 8:55 Keynote speaker: Jonathan Overpeck, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the United Nations advisory group on climate change and Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, “American Rivers and Climate Change: a Tale of Two Hydrologic Extremes”

8:55 – 9:05: Q & A

State of the Watershed Updates

9:05 – 9:15: Update from Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) by Kelly Thiel. 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.

9:15 – 9:30: 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.

9:30 – 9:45: Update from City of Delaware and Olentangy Watershed Alliance (OWA) by Caroline Cicerchi. The City of Delaware works diligently to protect existing stormwater infrastructure as well as the Olentangy River and its tributaries through its Stormwater Management Program. OWA was formed as a non-profit in April 1999, with a mission to inspire appreciation and stewardship of the Upper Olentangy River and its watershed.

9:45 – 9:55: 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.

9:55 – 10:05: Q & A and Break

10:05 – 10:15: Vanessa Bishop, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

10:15 – 10:30: Erin Wolfe, Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. “Del-Aware Water: Outreach Efforts in the Watershed”

10:30 – 10:50: Jim Palus, FLOW. “Putting FLOW’s Greenspace Implementation Plan Into Action”

10:50 – 11:20: Ed Rankin & Anthony Sasson, Midwest Biodiversity Institute, “Fish and Mussels Trends in the Central Scioto River Basin”

11:20-11:50: Jesse Womack, The Nature Conservancy. “The Nature Conservancy & the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework”

11:50 – 12:00: Janelle Valdinger, Ohio Wesleyan University, “Connecting with Career Connection”

This Week: 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.


Contact Caroline Cicerchi for Zoom Details:

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series I

 Monday, Oct. 5 from 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM: 

  • Jeff Paetz, Phoenix Environmental (15 minutes)
  • Heather Sheets, Ohio Clean Marinas (15 minutes)
  • Caroline Cicerchi, City of Delaware (15 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series II

Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM:

  • Sarah Orlando, Ohio Sea Grant (15 minutes)
  • Chad Spring, City of Delaware (15 minutes)
  • Erin Wolfe, Delaware SWCD (15 minutes)
  • Janelle Valdinger, Ohio Wesleyan University (10 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series III

Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 11:50 AM – 12:40 PM: 

  • Christine Szymanski, ODNR Scenic Rivers (15 minutes)
  • Jeff Kauffman, Del-Co Water Company (15 minutes)
  • Chris Roshon, Preservation Parks (15 minutes)

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.

#OWUENVS

In the overwhelming crush of media about the COVID 19 pandemic we don’t want to lose sight of the profound importance of the environment.

#OWUENVS is a collective effort to push environmental news and ideas and advocacy and creative efforts out through social media and other media by students, faculty, and staff in the Environment & Sustainability Program at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Find or create relevant stuff. Anything having to do with the environment anywhere. Links, ideas, videos, maps, photos, music, data, artwork, etc. Focus on the stuff you care about.

Put it out there: use the hashtag or tag #OWUENVS so we can track the effort. Focus on the media you use. On social media, video sites, music sites, whatever. Be creative.

Please let Meg Edwards or  John Krygier or Laurie Anderson know if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions.

This effort is what we make it. It keeps us connected, and it matters.

 

 

Event: Maintaining Clean Water on A Consistent Basis: March 14, 2020

Maintaining Clean Water on A Consistent Basis and In the Aftermath of Natural Disasters

Please come to this event to learn about substances that can contaminate our water supply and what you can do to help keep our water sources clean. Also, learn about what measures can be taken in the event of a disaster or contamination event to restore access to clean water. Representatives from the City of Delaware, Watershed & Sustainability Public Utilities Department; the Delaware General Health District and the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will be in attendance to provide information.

3/14/2020 2-4pm

Location: Second Ward Community Center, 50A Ross Street, Delaware, Ohio

More information: https://www.swcidelaware.org

Facilitated by: Brionna Corder, Junior at Buckeye Valley High School and the Delaware Area Career Center. Email: corderpbd@gmail.com

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.

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!