Tonight: Hear from real-life ‘Dark Waters’ hero

The 2018 documentary The Devil We Know screens at 7 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, March 3, in Ohio State’s Environmental Film Series. The event’s website describes the film this way: “Lax oversight of industrial pollutants in West Virginia and corporate greed contributed to the death of cattle and cancer in people. A Cincinnati corporate attorney decided to help local residents.” That attorney, Rob Billott, will appear in person at the screening.

Billott’s memoir detailing the case, titled Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against Du Pont, inspired the 2019 major motion picture Dark Waters, which starred Mark Ruffalo as Billott.

Admission to the screening is free and open to the public. Get details.

Watch: What people mean to water mean to fish

CFAES scientist Suzanne Gray explains her research connecting water quality, aquatic diversity and human activities in the video above. It’s her lightning-round talk (6:36) from CFAES’s Annual Research Conference. How do fish — from bluegills in the Scioto River, to walleyes in western Lake Erie, to cichlids in the Nile River basin — respond to rapid changes in their water caused by people?

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Our big ocean mess is getting bigger

A CNN report today said the plastic-filled Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing faster than expected and is “now three times the size of France.” France is about the same size as Texas, so picture three Texases’ worth of trash — or, closer to home, 75 Lake Eries’ worth — swirling in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Here’s one of many reasons — economic benefits — to stop adding to that mess and clean it up.

Can we keep our trash out of the Great Lakes?

There’s a conference tomorrow in Cleveland on how to eliminate marine debris (plastic trash and more) in the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie. It’s closed to the public, but there’s a second, public event planned for early 2017 to talk about goals developed during the conference. Elizabeth Miller writing for the Great Lakes Today website of WBFO, Buffalo, New York, has the story.

The story quotes, among others, Jill Bartolotta of the Ohio State-based Ohio Sea Grant program.

Drugs in our water? And the loss of a scientist of ‘great warmth and integrity’

As the late, great Lou Reed so painfully put it, “There’s a bit of magic in everything, and then some loss to even things out.” Dan Herms of CFAES’s Department of Entomology shares the following about a coming event:

“The next Wooster Science Café at the First Amendment Public House (150 W. Liberty St., Wooster) will be Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. Kristina Schiavone from the College of Wooster will lead a discussion about personal pharmaceuticals in the environment. Kristina is a student who was advised by Dr. Melissa Schultz, who was scheduled to speak until she tragically passed away on Feb. 7. Kristina carries on the work of Dr. Schultz [2009 EarthSky interview with Schultz here].

“Science Cafés are grassroots events that have sprung up all over the world, bringing together scientists and nonscientists in casual settings for lively, engaging conversation on scientific topics of interest. A brief presentation will be followed by discussion. We hope to see you there.”

CFAES’s research arm, OARDC, is a co-sponsor of the series. It’s free. All are welcome. “Come out and support Kristina as she carries on Melissa’s work,” says a post on the Wooster Science Café Facebook page.