Spring Cleaning Tips for Boaters (and everyone else)

Clean Marinas 2015-12-10

Photo credit: Ohio Sea Grant

Spring is here and it is time for cleaning! When it comes to cleaning, the best practices for boaters are also easily transferable to our lives at home, at work, and in the community. Now is the time of year I send reminders to our marina and boating community about these best practices for keeping our waterways clean. Below are a few of my favorites that I take with me wherever I go.


  • Use non-toxic, phosphate-free, and biodegradable cleaning products. You’d be surprised how well baking soda and vinegar work on tough stains! Find our list of alternatives to toxic cleaning products here.
  • Become knowledgeable about disposal procedures for waste and hazardous materials at work and in your community.


  • Clean up all trash, dust, and debris immediately following any maintenance or repair activity. Dispose in your regular trash at home or in designated receptacles at your local solid waste management facility.
  • Use a drop cloth to catch dust and debris when working over unpaved surfaces. Sweep up debris on paved surfaces when finished.

Marine Debris:

  • Make sure trash cans have lids and are emptied regularly.
  • Recycle cans, glass, newspaper, and other products, and ultimately try to reduce trash by switching to reusable items.
  • Do you know where your nearest storm drain is located? Make sure that it is cleaned regularly and only rain goes down the storm drain.

You can learn more about these and other tips for protecting our waterways through our Clean Boater Tip Sheets, available through the Great Lakes Clean Marina Network, online at the Ohio Clean Marinas Program website and on Facebook.

Happy cleaning!!

Contact: Sarah Orlando, Ohio Clean Marinas Program, (419) 609-4120, orlando.42@osu.edu.

(Submitted by Sarah Orlando, Program Manager, Ohio Clean Marinas Program, Ohio Sea Grant)

Building strong communities through stable families

Financial Security 2016-05-19What do we need most to thrive in school, work and community? To be successful in life, children, youth and adults need a home. According to a recent article in The Columbus Dispatch, there is a shortfall of 54,000 affordable homes and apartments in Columbus, Ohio alone. Such shortages cause an increase in the number of “rent-burdened” renters, those who pay more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. Unfortunately, this leaves very little for other necessities. Consequently, these families struggle to make ends meet and are forced to make hard choices between rent and food, medicine or transportation to work.

In Franklin County, OSU Extension is working to help families become stable by teaching them how to take control of their finances by:

  • Offering monthly Financial Literacy training, including counseling to youth and adults.
  • Providing monthly U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certified and City of Columbus approved Housing Counseling to prospective home buyers, existing homeowners and renters.
  • Collaborating with Workforce Development agencies to connect residents to living wage employment opportunities.
  • Working with community, civic, corporate and collegiate partners to develop safe, decent and affordable housing.
  • Forging strategic partnerships to address infant mortality, food insecurity, public transportation, child support and restored citizens.
  • Providing one-time, emergency financial assistance to low-moderate income, working families.

A stable home provides a solid platform for positive growth, vibrant neighborhoods and economic prosperity. If you are interested in learning more about these programs or in conducting them in your own community, please contact Susan Colbert or 614-247-1983.

(Submitted by Susan Colbert, Program Director, Expansion and Engagement, Franklin County & Heart of Ohio EERA)

How far will YOU go?

It was three years ago now that I attended a training on group facilitation. I learned a lot at the training, but one of the things that stuck with me the strongest was something one of the other participants said in their mock session. This particular man worked in the tourism industry in Michigan on the very successful Pure Michigan campaign. For those of you not familiar with the campaign, it is a series of advertisements voiced by native Michigander Tim Allen of television’s Home Improvement fame. His distinctive voice touts the many attractions of the Great Lakes State from coast to coast. It features small towns, big cities, and everything in between, each ad highlighting what specific locations had to offer. The ads were then played on radio and television both in and outside of Michigan. In 2013 the campaign attracted more than 4 million non-residents to that state up north who spent $1.2 billion while they were there. Put another way, for every $1 spent on the marketing campaign, $6.66 was spent by tourists visiting the state.

Fuller for 2016-05-12 #4The success of that campaign made me wonder what the secrets were. That became even truer when I started working in rural areas. After all, Pure Michigan highlighted small towns and big cities alike. So what were some of the things that enabled the campaign to attract people to out-of-the-way destinations?

One possibility was that the marketing was centralized, including a centralized webpage that had links to different attractions across the state. People searching the website then had a chance to stumble onto other things they wanted to attend or try, important for smaller towns that probably do not have a large, well-publicized visitor’s bureau. In this day and age, the importance of a strong, mobile phone friendly online presence is paramount. Staying on-trend with social media platforms is essential. If people don’t know about it, they cannot come to it! Ideally, you are attracting people to your event or place of business from outside the area so that their money can flow into the local economy as well.

It is also important to be realistic about what the attractions are. In the same presentation where I learned about the success of Pure Michigan, I also learned that on average, people want to have four hours’ worth of things to do at their destination for every hour they spend traveling to get there. This is important to consider when investing those advertising dollars. If you are going to promote an event that requires traveling to attend, make sure it is going to be worth the time it takes to get there!

Finally, be strategic about your campaign. If you have a multiple-day event, promote those days when there are a lot of things to do and try to group your activities to appeal to people with similar interests. Draw a circle around your town and figure out how long of a trip it is to get to your location. For example, say you have a two-hour show and want to draw a bigger crowd. Pair it with dinner and advertise within an hour’s drive so it is worth people’s time to commute. Another way to make it worth the effort is to band together within a community and set up a tour of attractions. Pick a theme for your campaign and then spend some time considering who would be interested in that. Most of all, think regionally and work together for maximum effect.

(Submitted by Laura Fuller, County Extension Educator, Noble County & Buckeye Hills EERA)

Raison begins role as field specialist for community and organizational leadership

Are you interested in leadership issues? Do your clientele request programming around leadership? Are you aware of others in Extension who are working on or conducting leadership programming?

Raison, Brian CDFSAs of May 1, I assumed the role of Extension field specialist, community and organizational leadership development. In this new role, I will be working to identify potential programmatic relationships with faculty and staff throughout OSU and with partner organizations. Some of those will include the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD), County Commissioners’ Association of Ohio (CCAO), Ohio Tourism Association (OTA) and Ohio Township Association (OTA). I will also try to identify and address new opportunities for community and organization-focused engagement involving leadership.

To begin, I’ll be conducting an inventory of existing leadership programming around the state (seeking input from county Extension personnel and state specialists). I’ll also reach out to other CFAES departments and partner organizations. I’ll be in communication with our CD and other Extension colleagues as the position begins to unfold; and I’ll seek opportunities for partnership at all levels.

My new position also includes a partial appointment in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership where I’ll engage students in applied research and community service as well as participate in resident instruction. I will be co-located with the Greene County Extension office; but you’ll likely find me on campus and across the state as well!  Again, please be in touch with ideas and opportunities!

(Submitted by Brian Raison, Assistant Professor & Extension Field Specialist, Community and Organizational Leadership)