Nov 18, 2019

H2Ohio Plan Tackles Maumee River Watershed’s Algal Blooms

Gov. Mike DeWine is gearing up to mitigate Maumee River watershed’s phosphorus runoff in order to prevent the formation of algal blooms. 

Gov. Mike DeWine is gearing up to mitigate Maumee River watershed’s phosphorus runoff in order to prevent the formation of algal blooms. 

Ohio’s Gov. Mike DeWine has announced that the multi-million dollar H2Ohio plan will target northwest Ohio first in an effort to combat algal blooms, according to NBC 24

The plan will target the state's water quality by reducing phosphorus, creating wetlands, addressing failing septic systems and preventing lead contamination.

One of the most prevalent issues in the state is reducing phosphorus runoff into Lake Erie, reported NBC 24

"Quite candidly, our state will never fully flourish as long as we continue to merge from water crisis to water crisis," said DeWine. “It is the time for Ohio to seriously invest in a dedicated, holistic water quality plan that has long lasting solutions, a plan that addresses the causes of the problems and not just the symptoms."

The plan will first focus on the Maumee River watershed, which is one of the hardest hit areas in the state.

Researchers determined the 10 best practices to reduce agricultural phosphorus runoff, including soil testing, drainage water management and creating more wetlands.

DeWine requested $900 million for a 10-year plan. The General Assembly approved $172 million for two years in July, according to the Toledo Blade.

A portion of the funds will go toward incentives to encourage farmers to use the 10 best management practices through a certification process, which will be available for the spring 2020 planting season, reported NBC 24.

"The 10 steps are nothing new or earth shattering, it's just some more emphasis on programs and practices that we've been advocating for a long time so we'll have more resources to actually do a better job," said Wood County farmer Kris Swartz.

There will be a way for the public to track the progress being made with the plan with an electronic reporting system. 

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