environment

kroger plastic bags
Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Updated: 3:00 p.m.

Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Seelbach has announced the city could soon have a blanket ban on single use plastic bags. Seelbach said stores that sell food, including restaurants, will not be allowed to use these bags starting Jan. 1, 2021, if City Council approves the ordinance.

kentucky weather
James Crisp / AP

Snow is melting faster in Kentucky as warmer average winters bring about fewer days of snow cover, according to State Climatologist Stuart Foster.

gary nabhan
Courtesy of GaryNabhan.com

Dr. Gary Nabhan, an ethnobiologist, nature writer and world expert on the people, plants and wildlife of the Sonoran desert, speaks with Cincinnati Edition host Michael Monks and Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard about his upcoming lecture on March 11 at the Cincinnati Zoo's Peacock Pavilion as part of the Barrows Conservation lecture series.

For many parts of the United States this winter has been one of the warmest on record. In fact, as the climate heats up, winters are warming faster than any other season. We recently asked how people around the country are seeing the effects of this in their everyday lives. Here's a sample of what we heard back.

Recreation

In 1979 there were just four pairs of Bald Eagles left nesting anywhere in Ohio.

Habitat loss and the misuse of pesticides had almost wiped the bird out.

However, decades of conservation work has paid off. There are now Bald Eagles all over the state, and in 2012 the bird was removed from Ohio’s endangered list.

When it comes to recycling plastic, most people check for a number on the bottom of every container. But what does that number actually mean, and why are some plastics not recyclable? This installment of our series, Reduce, Reuse, Refocus traces the life cycle of a piece of plastic.

Courtesy of Osprey Initiative

Despite vast improvements in water quality, the Mill Creek still gets a bad rap. A pilot program launching this week aims to remove additional trash from the waterway as one way to improve public perception.

ohio river
John Minchillo / AP

I live in Mount Washington, on the east side of Cincinnati, roughly the midpoint of the 981-mile Ohio River. Below us, near the mouth of the Little Miami River, marinas, barge terminals and Cincinnati Water Works' Miller Treatment Plant line the river's bank.

glacier
Courtesy of NASA

A University of Dayton geologist has been selected to work with NASA to study how climate change is impacting glaciers.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear approved a new funding stream Tuesday to help establish a wildlife refuge in Western Kentucky.

Mapping Out The Toxic Wastewater Discharges Along The Ohio River

Jan 20, 2020
ohio river smale park
Leigh Taylor / Eye on Ohio

All Tim Guilfoile wants to do is fish. Before his retirement, he had two careers: one in business and one in water quality activism. Now, he serves as the director of marketing and communications for Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers. "We fly fish for bass, blue gill, striped bass and others. Not just trout. I fish on the Ohio River."

Will he eat the fish he catches in the Ohio River?

"Oh God, no!" he said.

  For more than a decade, Kentucky House Rep. Jim Gooch has denied the existence of human-driven climate change.

ohio river
John Minchillo / AP

The Hollywood movie Dark Waters made a splash in the conversation about pollutants in our waters. While the film has local connections - because the main attorney featured in it is from here, and because it was filmed in our region - there are others in our area raising concerns.

parkersburg west virginia
Lexi Browning/100 Days in Appalachia

Tommy Joyce is no cinephile. The last movie he saw in a theater was the remake of True Grit nearly a decade ago. "I'd rather watch squirrels run in the woods" than sit through most of what appears on the big screen, he said.

Courtesy of Washington State University

It's no secret that road salt is not very sustainable. So, states like Ohio are looking for greener alternatives. It is using so-called "BEET HEET," a de-icer made with the vegetable.  A Washington State University professor is proving grape extract and other agricultural waste can be used. Research shows it melts ice faster and causes significantly less damage to concrete and asphalt than traditional methods.

State senators considering one of two bills to ban local bans on plastic bags heard from around 40 opponents, who either came to a committee hearing or sent in written testimony.

Gov. Mike DeWine has released details of his plan to improve water quality in Ohio, starting with preventing toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.  The H2Ohio program will start in the Maumee River watershed near Toledo but he wants to eventually broaden it to rest of the state.

Jackie Hampton has pulled up to a small, self-serve, farm stand. It houses seasonal produce from That Guy’s Farm and floral bouquets from That Girl’s Flowers. She’s here to buy flowers for her daughter’s anniversary.

“Actually this is my first time. I’ve always bought their produce and stuff.” Jackie says looking opening the door to the small, refrigerated building, “ They have beautiful flowers. You don’t see this kind in the stores.”

Jasper Davis stoops to tilt a plastic bottle under a drip of water that's trickling from a crack in the mountainside.

"Tastes better than what the city water does," he says. "Way better."

The spring is innocuous, a mere dribble emerging from a cliff face that was cut out to make room for a four-lane highway. But there's evidence of frequent visitors. A small footbridge has been placed over the muddy ground, and some enterprising soul shoved a rubber tube into the mountain to make filling jugs easier.

U.S. Department of Energy

A former Cold War-era nuclear weapons research site in Miamisburg is now fully in local hands.

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