Environment

Environmental News and Features

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.

rob portman
John Minchillo / AP

Ohio Senator Rob Portman told reporters Tuesday as much as one-third of materials in recycling bins are going into landfills. "This is unacceptable and I think most of my constituents would be shocked to hear that." He has introduced legislation to educate people on what can be recycled and how our country can do it more cost effectively.

Pixabay.com

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

Recent Toxic Algal Blooms Gone From Ohio River

Nov 11, 2019

The Ohio River is free from harmful levels of toxic algae after more than a month of recreational public health advisories, according to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

The cabinet lifted recreation public health advisories along the Ohio River on Thursday after recent water samples showed a decline in toxic algae.

The algae first formed in late September when drought conditions paired with hot temperatures produced blooms along a 300-mile stretch of the Ohio River. The blooms resulted in the cancellation of the Great Ohio River Swim in Cincinnati and the swimming portion of Louisville’s Iron Man Competition.

Provided

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

Hundreds of miles of the Ohio River are still contaminated with unsafe levels of toxic blue-green algae, though seasonal changes have helped to improve conditions over the last week or so.

Drought conditions across the Ohio Valley in September helped fuel the growth of harmful algal blooms. The algae led organizers to cancel the Great Ohio River Swim in Cincinnati and the swimming portion of Louisville’s Iron Man competition earlier this month.

Pixabay.com

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

Pixabay.com

Two protestors quietly disrupted the Procter & Gamble Co. shareholders meeting this week with signs calling on the company to stop clear-cutting Canada's boreal forest for use in its Charmin brand toilet paper products. When CEO David Taylor was questioned during the meeting by Shelley Vineyard of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Taylor said P&G seeks to preserve forests and wildlife.

autumn leaves fall
Pixabay

The season has officially changed from summer to autumn, in spite of the lingering hot temperatures. So, now that peak planting season is over, what should you be doing with your garden and landscape?

little miami bike trail
J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

It takes 5,000 to 6,000 volunteer hours annually to maintain the Little Miami State Park bike trail running 50 miles from Newtown to Xenia. The trail turns 40 this year and the Friends of the Little Miami State Park (FLMSP), who volunteer their time to maintain the trail, are looking to celebrate.

newport kentucky
Al Behrman / AP

Climate change: It’s the T-rex chasing the jeep in Jurassic Park and the climate scientist is Jeff Goldblum yelling “must go faster.” It’s omnipresent and ineffable, it’s everywhere and touches everything. It’s a problem so complex that it’s easy to distract ourselves with the efficacy of plastic straw bans and recycling.

swiss chard
Wikimedia Commons

The gardeners who were able to get their plants in despite the almost constant rains this spring and have had the time to properly tend to them during the extremely hot, dry summer months are finally able to harvest and enjoy their crops. 

Courtesy of Michael Miller

A University of Cincinnati professor is predicting the Arctic Ocean could have no September sea ice if global temperatures continue to rise.

High levels of blue-green algae are currently triggering recreational alerts at 10 lakes in Indiana this summer, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The algae has rarely been toxic to humans in Indiana, but even small amounts of the toxins can be dangerous for pets, said Cyndi Wagner with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

“Even in those small amounts, if a dog drinks enough of the water they could succumb to the effects of the toxin and the toxins — there are four different ones — some of them are neurotoxins and some of them are liver toxins,” Wagner said.

Image by Kirk Fisher from Pixabay

Cincinnati Parks is giving away free trees. The Park Board's Urban Forestry division runs the annual ReLeaf program as an effort to bring residential neighborhoods up to 40% tree canopy coverage.

cincinnati climate change
Pixabay

In a typical year, the Cincinnati region experiences roughly 17 days with a heat index above 90 degrees. The heat index accounts for what it "feels like" outside even if the actual temperature is slightly lower.

garden mildew
Wikimedia Commons

While we'll experience relatively cooler temperatures over the next several days, this summer's intense heat and frequent downpours have made gardening a real challenge. The extreme weather has been great for weeds and insects, but it's been hard on trees and plants, many of which are now showing signs of severe stress.

Kroger Calls On EPA Head To Regulate Industry Food Waste

Jul 22, 2019
Courtesy of Kroger

Kroger is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to set industry standards that would eliminate food waste.

The number of sweltering summer days will only increase as climate change takes its toll on Kentucky, according to a study released Tuesday.

Provided / Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Did you know the Cincinnati Zoo is open until 8 p.m. every Tuesday in July? Visitors can enjoy half-price admission on August 17 and 18, and registration is open for the Cheetah Run 5k. There's a lot going on at the zoo this summer.

A massive slug of Jim Beam bourbon from last week’s warehouse fire entered the Ohio River on Monday after traveling more than 20 miles down the Kentucky River, according to the latest from Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet.

The plume is expected to hug the shoreline and dilute as it enters the Ohio River where it could continue to pose a limited threat to fish and other aquatic life, said John Mura, cabinet spokesman.

“The plume, which is about 23 miles long, entered the Ohio River very early this morning and began dissipating,” Mura said.

Standing on the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland’s Industrial Valley, the river looks like chocolate milk surrounded by industry – or the remnants of industry slowly being reclaimed by nature. But in 1969, this was one of the nation’s most polluted waterways

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A group actively cleaning up the Mill Creek describes the stream as a "diamond in the rough" and wants to encourage the communities lining it to take advantage of its economic and recreational benefits. Saturday elected officials are invited to see it by canoe.

bees
Maxpixel.net

Most of us are likely to know bees are more than just a stinging nuisance. But did you realize one out of every three mouthfuls of food we consume is dependent on pollination by honeybees?

diseased tomato plant
Pixabay

Gardeners in our region are accustomed to our often dry, hot summers and the need to pay extra attention to watering plants. But right now farmers and gardeners here and in many other parts of the country have the opposite problem – too much water.

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