CFAES scientists are testing a filter that could take out up to 75 percent of the phosphorus in farm field runoff.
Why it’s important: Phosphorus in farm field runoff is a driver of harmful algal blooms, such as those plaguing western Lake Erie.Reducing that phosphorus could limit the blooms and by doing so help improve water quality.
CFAES’ Gary Pierzynski will be a panelist for a policy session on “The Future of Lake Erie and the Quality of Our Water” at the Impact Ohio Toledo Regional Conference on March 14. Pierzynski serves as associate dean for research and graduate education.
The event, according to its website, will feature “key government officials, business leaders, and community members (discussing) issues important to the region.” Conference-goers “will hear first-hand from government leaders, political analysts, pundits, and policy experts on issues that affect their community.”
Tom Henry, environmental and energy writer for the Toledo Blade, will moderate the Lake Erie panel.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will give the event’s keynote address.
The annual Evening with Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory benefit event is set for Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Columbus. The two affiliated programs—Ohio Sea Grant is based at Ohio State; Stone Lab, located at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie, is part of CFAES—conduct research, teaching, and outreach aimed at helping Lake Erie and water quality.
The event will feature a silent auction and the sale of Stone Lab merchandise, with the proceeds going to support student scholarships; and presentations by some of the faculty, staff, and students from the programs (such as CFAES student researcher Harrison Fried).
Admission is free and open to the public, but you’re encouraged to RSVP.
Find out more. (Photo: Stone Lab’s R/V Bio-Lab at Lake Erie, by Daniel Combs, Ohio Sea Grant, via Flickr.)
Chris Winslow, director of the Ohio State-based Ohio Sea Grant program and CFAES’ Stone Laboratory, will present “Nutrient Management Effects on Lake Erie” at State of the Lake: A Tri-State Water Quality Discussion, set for 5–8 p.m. Feb. 26 in Hillsdale, Michigan. Registration is $20, which includes dinner and resources, and is due by Friday, Feb. 22.
Also speaking at the event will be Extension educators from the tri-state area—Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana—who the event flyer says “will cover topics related to agriculture and nutrient management, including cover crops, the new Tri-State Fertility Guide, and fine-tuning a nutrient management plan.” Continuing education credits are available. Find out more and register.
Organizers of the event are Michigan State University Extension, Purdue Extension, and CFAES’ Ohio State University Extension outreach arm.
Hillsdale is about 75 miles west-northwest of Toledo, Ohio.
Many moons ago, as a wet-behind-the-ears grad student, I spent a winter living and working at CFAES’s Stone Laboratory at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie. The winter was a good one for cold, snow, and ice, the lake freezing over in late December, the ice being broken up once by a storm, but then locking in and staying that way, solid, thick, and getting thicker, right into March. My roommate would drive his van on the lake, hauling his ice fishing gear. Guys from Canada’s Pelee Island would zip to Put-in-Bay by snowmobile, a distance of about 5 miles. Dozens of ice fishing shanties, a semi-permanent village, dotted a part of the lake where I’d seen a lone Lyman boat cruising just two months before, a mildish day in early December, the water black, eerily calm, but still then definitely liquid.
Some farm fields have more phosphorus than their crops need. Called elevated phosphorus fields, such fields may be at higher risk of contributing to Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.
That’s the premise of a new five-year study, based in northwest Ohio’s Maumee River watershed, that hopes to better understand those fields. How much phosphorus, an algal bloom-fueling nutrient, runs off of them? What are the best ways to limit that runoff while also maintaining yields?
CFAES scientist Jay Martin is leading the study, which is partnering with some of the watershed’s nutrient service providers and farmers.
The 2018 Environmental Film Series sponsored by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources continues tonight, Monday, Nov. 5, with “Toxic Puzzle,” a look at how harmful algal blooms may be affecting human health, specifically as possible triggers for Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Watch the trailer above.
Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program has released a third-year update on the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, a statewide effort that seeks solutions to Ohio’s harmful algal blooms. Scientists from CFAES are some of the many involved.