Environment

Environmental News and Features

Provided / Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

If you've got some room in your yard, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has a challenge for you. The zoo is encouraging people to plant a garden for pollinators like butterflies and bees.

The new U.S. Department of Agriculture census released April 11 shows the number of young farmers in Kentucky is increasing. 

The USDA Census of Agriculture is done every five years and the newly-released data on crops, acreage and demographics is for the 2017 year. The previous census used as a five-year comparison is based on 2012 data.

David Knopf is regional director of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service based in Louisville. He said the census shows a significant increase in the number of young farmers in Kentucky. 


cincinnati district 3
Screengrab / Blue Goes Green Vimeo

As the City of Cincinnati figures out how to proceed on a proposed new Police Department District 5 headquarters, can it learn from its previous work in building a new District 3? Former City Councilwoman and filmmaker Laure Quinlivan believes so.

earth day
Amy Sancetta / AP

The first Earth Day was held April 22, 1970. Since the day that many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement, generations have grown up learning about how we affect the environment, and great strides have been made in reducing pollution and developing sustainability programs. But we are still faced with massive plastic waste in our oceans, rapidly diminishing animal habitat worldwide, continued air and water industrial pollution and multiple species in danger of extinction.

anne savage
Courtesy Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The next speaker in the 2019 Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's Barrows Conservation Lecture Series is Anne Savage, Ph.D., founder of Proyecto Tití, a program designed to conserve Colombia’s most endangered primate, the cotton-top tamarin.

butterfly
Pete Rightmire / WVXU

Without pollinators, our food supply would collapse. Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce.

ohio river
Pete Rightmire / WVXU

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is considering a new plan on water quality for the Ohio River. A previous plan, issued last year, would have reduced ORSANCO's oversight and allowed states to regulate discharges into the river.

spring
Pixabay

It's officially spring, flowers are in bloom, lawns are just starting to turn a deeper shade of green and the weeds are beginning their mission to take over our yards. But there is still a chance we could experience hard frosts before the warm weather finally settles in.

Buckeye Falls at Sharon Woods
Courtesy Great Parks of Hamilton County

With 21 parks and preserves covering 17,666 acres, Great Parks of Hamilton County is the largest land holder in the county. Established in 1930, the park system completed its first-ever Comprehensive Master Plan this January. The plan will guide parks, facilities, programming and services over the next 10 years, through 2028.

solar panel
Pixabay

As coal plants retire and the price of renewable energy gets cheaper, solar power will increasingly energize the country.

So in Kentucky, when you hear words like "net metering" and "distributed generation" it's easy to miss the big picture in the fight over solar power.

great parks team
Courtesy of Great Parks Of Hamilton County

At the end of 2018, Great Parks of Hamilton County put out the same plea it had made for the past four years: Drop off your broken or unwanted holiday lights at collection points located in six of its parks, and Cohen Recycling will pick them up for recycling and match the donation value of the lights back to Great Parks, up to $2,000.

As it turns out, last year was a particularly bright spot for the annual program. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The commission that sets standards for pollution in the Ohio River has been considering dropping those standards, but will accept more public comment before making a decision. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) has two webinars and three public hearings scheduled.

Provided: / Great Parks of Hamilton County

Updated March 6, 2:07 p.m.

As spring approaches, Great Parks of Hamilton County is hoping for a little help in stopping the spread of a perennial problem. Natural Resources Director Jessica Spencer is asking park visitors to keep an eye out for invasive species.

In a special election Tuesday, voters in Toledo said yes to a ballot measure that amends the city charter to include a Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR). With about 8.9 percent turnout of eligible voters, the ordinance was approved by just over 61 percent. 

According to the unofficial vote count from the Lucas County Board of Elections, over 16,200 ballots were cast.

vegetable garden
pxhere.com

Whether you're an avid gardener or just want to keep your landscape looking good, there are dozens of simple things you can do that are not only kinder to the environment but will cut-down on the time and money you spend on your yard.

coyotes
Dru Bloomfield / Wikimedia Commons

People are seeing more coyotes in neighborhoods throughout Greater Cincinnati lately, on both sides of the Ohio River. And that is causing many of them to worry about the safety of their children and pets.

Next Tuesday, Feb. 26, the residents of Toledo will have the chance to vote on an unusual (some might even say radical) proposal: whether to give the fourth largest lake in the United States its own Bill of Rights. If the ballot measure passes, it would be a win for the small but growing “rights of nature” movement, which aims to deter activities that pollute the environment by granting legal rights to ecosystems.

There are approximately 14,000 “orphaned” oil and gas wells across the state of Kentucky, according to state officials.

Abandoned by the original operators, these wells litter forests and fields, limiting where farmers can grow crops and presenting environmental and human health hazards. Many have been left uncapped to bubble gas and leak oil for decades.

Now, after five years of stakeholder meetings between environmental groups and the oil and gas industry, Kentucky lawmakers have introduced House Bill 199 to plug orphaned oil and gas wells and abandoned storage tanks that threaten health, safety and the environment.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is considering a new plan on water quality for the Ohio River, which is not as drastic as the first. Initially, the group had proposed eliminating pollution control standards and instead rely entirely on states to regulate discharges into the river.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul introduced an amendment granting authority to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to sell off an unspecified amount of Daniel Boone National Forest near the border of Tennessee.

The amendment called for the sale of forest lands along U.S. Highway 27 from Burnside, Kentucky, to where the highway crosses the state line.

It didn’t describe exactly what lands would be included, it didn’t define what “along” meant and it didn’t prescribe a specific acreage, said Jim Scheff with Kentucky Heartwood, a public lands advocacy organization.

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