The Olentangy Watershed Forum has been held on OWU’s campus for the last few years but is moving to a new venue for the Fall of 2022, at Highbanks Metropark, about 20 minutes south of Delaware.
This is a great event to hear about regional watershed issues from an array of local, municipal, county and state folks who’s work focuses on the environment. It has been a very good networking opportunity for students in the past.
Reserve a spot and a free lunch (register by Oct. 29) here
If enough students are interested, we can arrange to carpool. Contact Krygier.
Join us for a day-long seminar to hear updates about the watershed. This is for any resident or watershed professional who would like to stay up to date on watershed issues, or simply gain more knowledge on the watershed. Network with water quality professionals from across central Ohio. Guest speakers will discuss the Olentangy River Wetlands Park research, Olentangy wildlife updates, updates from watershed groups, and opportunities to get involved.
We will meet in the Multipurpose Room in the Visitor Center at Highbanks Metro Park. We encourage you to carpool due to limited parking at the Visitor Center. Lunch will be provided for those who register by October 29th. You are still welcome to attend if you aren’t able to register until after October 29th, but we might not be able to provide lunch for those who register after this date. Please bring your own water bottle to refill, and a coffee mug to reduce single-use coffee cup waste.
Please contact Erin Wolfe, email@example.com, or 740-203-1905, if you have dietary restrictions or prefer a vegan lunch.
Mark your calendars and watch for more information on two upcoming really important meetings regarding sustainability at OWU:
Thursday, February 10 at 6 pm (Beeghly Library 2nd Floor Bayley Room) Friday, February 11 at noon (Beeghly Library 2nd Floor Bayley Room)
We are asking for volunteers to help with the first significant update to OWU’s Sustainability Plan since 2017. This is good for OWU and good for participants, who will engage in what is in essence a professional sustainability effort. This group and its efforts are not formally affiliated with or endorsed by the OWU administration but will develop a plan and set of recommendations in line with current sustainability practices, at peer institutions, organizations, and companies.
I will update this blog posting in the near future with more details.
It’s been five years since OWU’s first Sustainability Plan – created by students – was adopted by OWU. The plan is, frankly, a bit toothless. It was vetted by students (primarily Emily Howald, ’18) and adjusted to the realities of an institution that was not yet ready to commit to more challenging sustainability goals. Keep in mind this was a time of major fundraising for the very important OWU Connection and also one of increasing enrollment challenges (felt by all colleges, as the number of college-age students declines in the US).
OWU is making progress. For example, the map below (right mouse click to see larger map) documents both existing and proposed sustainability projects on campus. These are largely grassroots projects, most involving students and the OWU Connection.
Move forward to Fall of 2021. Fred Copeman, OWU ’11, is in the graduate program for Sustainability Management at Columbia University. He takes on OWU as a case study, in a course, assessing the means by which OWU can seriously institute sustainability institution-wide.
Spring 2022: Fred will be on campus to move the effort forward on Thursday, February 10, and Friday, February 11. Meetings with students, staff, and faculty are scheduled for Thursday, February 10 at 6 pm (Beeghly Library 2nd Floor Bayley Room) and Friday, February 11 at noon (Beeghly Library 2nd Floor Bayley Room).
Dr. Krygier in the OWU ENVS Dunk Tank at the Olentangy River Festival (Sept. 2021)
Our first STF Meeting for the Fall of 2021 is Monday, Sept. 27 @ noon in 201 Merrick Hall.
Organizer: AJ Lashaway
Dr. Krygier/AJ→ OWU Outside update (hopefully MTSO reaches out, call Audubon)(make QR code for groupme)
→ Chimney Swift tower
→ Energy Projects: big and small
→ Bioretention Cells
→ any other sustainability things going on on campus
Ed Pullen→ recycling + waste management on campus
Erin Wolfe→ sustainability in Delaware
→ events OWU students can attend/opportunities available to them
SK (Treehouse) → Green Week, house events outside students can attend/help with
Sustainable Delaware Ohio (SDO) is advocating for the placement of a renewable electricity aggregation issue on the fall 2021 ballot. This ballot would give the City the power to negotiate a bulk price for purchasing electricity on behalf of you, its residents, and small businesses. The goal of the ballot is to lower household electric bills and increase the use of renewable (green) energy.
This is NOT A LEVY, meaning there will be no taxes on any resident, business, or other entity within the city limits.
We propose an Opt-Out solution, which automatically enrolls all local residents, unless they individually opt-out of the program and choose not to be included.
What needs to happen?
SDO urges the City of Delaware to make RENEWABLE a part of the proposed community electricity aggregation by seeking the maximum “green” content in proposals from suppliers.
The Delaware City Council needs to be informed on what OPTIONS are available for electricity regarding opt-in/opt-out, net-metering, duration of the program, green energy, and compensation of energy consultants.
Council requests proposals from a half-dozen energy consultants and selects one that meets the criteria.
November Ballot: The Council will vote to put this issue on the ballot and submit it to the Delaware County Board of Elections prior to August 4 (at 4 p.m.).
Informing all Delaware residents: by providing clear and transparent information. SDO offers the City of Delaware its assistance with that, as well as the Ohio Energy Council (OEC) and Councilman David Robinson from Worthington.
Call your Council Member to tell them you support this issue.
YOUR VOTE in November (it matters!)
After this ballot measure gets approved by Delaware residents (November elections), the City can negotiate the most favorable contract for its residents based on cost and amount of green energy.
ReNew Delaware Benefits You
No Change in Service: Under this program, you would experience no change in their electric service. AEP would continue to carry, service, and bill for the electricity service. The only change would be in the source of the electricity which will be identified on the AEP bill.
COST SAVINGS: Worthington implemented a similar program and it saved their residents $46,024.62 in the first five months alone. (see this PDF)
OPT-OUT: SDO advocates for a no-cost opt-out option for residents who do not wish to participate in the program, otherwise you are automatically enrolled.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: Choosing this means you are part of a cleaner energy solution, and you can be proud of that! Renewable energy puts less greenhouse gasses in the air, and reduces our carbon footprint, especially if we use local resources.
Renew Delaware Benefits City and State
Delaware would join a number of other communities in the State of Ohio to choose renewable electricity aggregation. However, not all aggregation is the same. SDO finds the following important:
REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINT: (needs estimate)
JOBS CREATED IN OHIO: For example, AEP’s Integrative Renewable Energy program uses OHIO WIND & SOLAR assets which supports job growth in Ohio.
KEEP OUR TAXES IN OHIO: AEP is building renewable energy projects in Ohio, while other programs purchase credits from companies in other States and our taxes leave the state.
NO MONEY OUT OF POCKET: This does not cost the City of Delaware any money.
COMMUNITY INVESTMENT GRANTS: AEP has community investment grants available that can be used toward any project within the city, though we would like them to be sustainable.
How Green Energy Saves
The renewable energy will be purchased by way of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Based on other communities’ experiences, it is expected that bulk pricing will make green energy feasible.
The current market rate in an aggregation program is no more than 4.75 cents/kWh fixed, while the five-year utility average has been roughly 6 Cents/kWh. As the typical household uses 12,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, the projected estimated savings per household would be: .06000-.04750)x12,000 = $150.00
The City of Delaware has approximately 17,000 households. At 70% participation, the estimated annual savings for the community would be: 17,000x.70x$150.00 = $1,785,000
For questions about this initiative, you can email us, or you can contact your Council representative for your ward.
Ohio Wesleyan Reaffirms University’s Commitment to Paris Agreement
By Cole Hatcher
In June 2017, I signed the We Are Still In declaration on behalf of Ohio Wesleyan University, promising that Ohio Wesleyan would remain committed to the Paris Agreement to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, even if the United States pulled out of the agreement.
As the United States officially withdraws from the Paris Agreement on November 4, we proudly reaffirm our commitment to it.
At the time I signed the We Are Still In declaration, Ohio Wesleyan was one of 183 colleges and universities to have joined that commitment. We are encouraged that during the past two years the We Are Still In compact has grown to include more than 400 colleges and universities and more than 3,500 other U.S. cities, states, businesses, and other organizations. Clearly, support across America is strong and unwavering for the Paris Agreement and for doing all we can to slow and halt global warming.
The We’re Still In document states in part: “It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities, investors and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2℃ and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”
We have a moral responsibility to future generations to join with all of humanity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight manmade climate change. Climate impacts are already evident globally with rising seas, drought, and severe fires. The looming crisis could be infinitely more damaging than this pandemic and affects people of color and those living in poverty most severely. We are fighting to protect human health, the global economy, national security, and life as we know it. Climate change is an existential threat.
We urge our nation’s leaders to reverse course and not only rejoin the 186 other nations that have ratified the Paris Agreement but also become a leader in bringing together governments from around the world to overcome humanity’s greatest challenge.
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”
In partnership with The Ohio State University-Mansfield Campus, please join us for an updated overview of the Ohio Microfarm Project.
See the second-year results of this three-year project! The October 23rd event virtually showcases community partnerships, urban farming, resiliency of farming, and co-op development. The October 24th event is brought to you by the Richland Gro-Op and will exhibit two urban microfarm and two rural microfarm outings, all a result of the input received from last year’s symposium.
Schedule: 2020 Ohio Microfarm Project Virtual Symposium October 23, 2020
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Environment and Sustainability Program at owu.edu/environment.
Midwest Climate Summit to Accelerate Climate Action for Midwest Region
If the 12 Midwest states were a country, it would be the fifth-largest greenhouse gas-emitting nation on the planet. The Midwest Climate Summit, hosted by Ohio State and Washington University: St. Louis with support from the Bloomberg Foundation, kicks off its Fall 2020 Think Tank program on Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. EDT, featuring Robert Bullard, the Father of Environmental Justice. The Think Tank continues with additional sessions Oct. 9, 23, Nov. 6, 20 and plans are being developed for a large spring event. Join us as experts from Ohio State and across the Midwest accelerate climate action, develop a Midwestern response and plan the next steps in solving our climate crisis. About the summit: https://midwestclimatesummit.wustl.edu/
Each virtual session will have a unique theme and discussion goals, so join us for all sessions or the sessions most important to your interests. You can find detailed information, session themes and Summit schedules at midwestclimatesummit.wustl.edu. All sessions are free and open to the public but registration is required to gain entrance.