How to ID Ohio’s aquatic invasive species

Want some good cold-weather reading? Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program offers a 160-page PDF e-book called Ohio Field Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species, with color photos for identifying aquatic invasive species and tips for preventing their introduction and spread. Featured are fish, plants, algae, mussels, crustaceans and others, including bighead carp, silver carp, didymo (an alga also called “rock snot”), fishhook waterflea, red swamp crayfish and Eurasian watermilfoil, to name just a few.

Ohio Sea Grant Specialist Tory Gabriel and Eugene Braig, CFAES aquatic ecosystems program director, helped produce the guide, whose introduction says, “Identifying and preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species are the keys to averting long-term ecosystem damage and ensuring the highest probability of effective control.”

Find details and links for downloading the guide.

A deeper look at elevated phosphorus

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.

Read the full story. (Photo: Getty Images.)

Are harmful algal blooms making people sick?

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.

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New algal bloom effort has CFAES partners

Toledo Blade writer Tom Henry recently reported on Bowling Green State University’s new Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health. The center aims, he wrote, “to greatly expand how scientists investigate harmful algal blooms.”

Nine other universities and institutions, including Ohio State and its Ohio Sea Grant program, are cooperating with Bowling Green on the center.

Justin Chaffin, research coordinator for CFAES’s Stone Laboratory, will be one of the scientists involved with the center.

Save inputs, protect water with new app

A new app is helping farmers save money while also protecting water quality. Developed by Ohio State experts including from CFAES, the Field Application Resource Monitor, or FARM, uses advanced weather forecasting — specific to a geographic area as small as 1.5 miles wide — to advise farmers on when to apply fertilizers and pesticides so rain doesn’t wash them away.

Read the full story. Visit the app’s website.

Film uncovers ‘shocking failure’ of water quality regulations

The 4th Environmental Film Series, sponsored by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, continues at 7 p.m. tonight, Monday, Oct. 22, with “What Lies Upstream,” a look at West Virginia’s 2014 Elk River chemical spill. A PBS website about the film calls it “an unsettling expose” in which filmmaker Colin Hoback “uncovers a shocking failure of regulation” by state and federal agencies and a “damaged political system where chemical companies often write the laws that govern them.” You can watch the trailer above.

Find further details. See the full series schedule.

Doing good work for students and water

Check out a recent story by Ben Gelber of Columbus TV station WCMH, which looks at an effort by Ohio State, the Hilliard school district and several conservation agencies to get high school students’ feet wet in environmental science.

The project involves, among others, members of CFAES’s TerrAqua student club and Eugene Braig, aquatic ecosystems program director, who’s interviewed briefly in the video. He’s the subject of a recent profile on our CFAES Stories website.

Weather or not to apply fertilizer

(Photo: Getty Images)

Using real-time precipitation forecasts and historical climate data, Ohio State’s new Field Application Resource Monitor (FARM) website tells you the best times to apply fertilizer and manure, based on your exact location. It can tell you whether rain is coming that could wash your fertilizer or manure away. Avoiding that washing-away can benefit your crops, your costs and water quality. Check out the site.