Environment

Environmental News and Features

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.

Cleanup continues in many neighborhoods hard hit by a series of tornadoes on Memorial Day.  Montgomery County officials are striving to recycle as much of the debris as possible rather than send it directly to landfills.

Most yard waste and untreated scrap wood can be turned into mulch when brought to the Montgomery County Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Facility in Moraine where it is ground up on-site and delivered to local companies to sell as mulch.

Rain, Rain, Go Away So Produce Can Flourish, Local Farmers Say

Jun 18, 2019
Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU

Record rainfall in Cincinnati is causing a local co-operative farm to re-adjust its harvest plan.

fernald preserve
Wikimedia Commons

Uranium processing ended at the Fernald site 30 years ago and now the more than 1,000 acres are known as the Fernald Preserve. Its transition from uranium processing facility during the Cold War to vast nature preserve involved lawsuits, contamination, community advocacy, new government regulations, and an enormous and comprehensive clean-up.

Journalist Jenny Wohlfarth documented what she called "an ecological oasis in our city's backyard, with a very dark past."

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Five years after an oil spill devastated Oak Glen Nature Preserve in Colerain Township, Great Parks of Hamilton County is now allowing limited public access. WVXU's Tana Weingartner has followed this story since the spill was discovered. She recently went back to find out what the public will learn during an off-trail hike this Saturday.

Provided/Tenth Acre Farm

Many home gardeners have discovered that with the right crops and planting methods they can grow a lot of produce in a small amount of space. Which is extremely helpful for homeowners with small yards. And especially good news for those who live in urban areas or apartments, where container gardening is a necessity.

dino martins
Courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The next speaker in the 2019 Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's Barrows Conservation Lecture Series is the Executive Director of the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya, Dino Martins, Ph.D.

dandelion
Pixabay

Now that we are into the growing season the first thing most of us notice is just how well the weeds are doing in our yards and gardens. While some of us tackle the job of clearing dandelions, nut grass and clover by hand, others rely on chemicals to eliminate weeds. And many of them will go about it the wrong way, applying too much, too little or too often.

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.

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