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Past News... (2009)

Toxic Algae Meeting Convened.

Toxic Algae Meeting Convened. 11/18/2009 -- Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) can produce toxins harmful to humans and deadly to fish and pets. In recent years Microcystis, a common type of toxic algae, has reemerged in parts of Lake Erie and some inland lakes of Ohio. The USGS Ohio Water Science Center recently hosted a meeting on toxic algal issues with representatives from Federal, state, and local agencies and organizations. Presentation topics ranged from toxin genetics to a landscape analysis and included a talk on the Ohio EPA’s Ohio Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Initiative and the state of the science by toxic algae expert Jennifer Graham of the USGS Kansas Water Science Center.

Celebrate Earth Science Week – October 11-17, 2009.

Celebrate Earth Science Week – October 11-17, 2009. 10/9/2009 -- "Understanding Climate" is the theme for this year's Earth Science Week. The USGS is a major contributor to this annual international event sponsored by the American Geological Institute.  Earth Science Week promotes responsible stewardship of the Earth and encourages children and adults alike to explore the earth sciences. Scientists from the Ohio Water Science Center are taking representatives from several Ohio agencies to a streamgage to demonstrate the operation of gages and describe the variety of ways streamgage data are used, including the role streamgages play in understanding climate. There are many Earth Science Week events in Ohio and throughout the world open to the public. Earth science is all around us!

Stormwater Runoff at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Stormwater Runoff at the Cincinnati Zoo. 10/6/2009 -- The conversion of a parking lot to the new “African Savannah” exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo is being designed to incorporate a variety of best-management practices (BMPs) to reduce stormwater runoff. According to the USEPA, “BMPs are designed to manage the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff in the most cost-effective manner." Although similar BMPs have been installed in Ohio and throughout the United States, little supporting hydrologic data are being collected to evaluate BMPs’ relative efficiency — and it is not well understood how local site conditions (e.g., soils and geology) influence BMP effectiveness.  In this new study, the USGS and the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati will monitor water quantity of the runoff and shallow groundwater before and after the installation of the BMPs.

Mercury Contamination in Fish Nationwide.

Mercury Contamination in Fish Nationwide. 08/27/2009 -- Scientists detected mercury contamination in every fish sampled in 291 streams across the country, including nine sampling locations in Ohio, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study. About a quarter of these fish were found to contain mercury at levels exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criterion for the protection of people who consume average amounts of fish (news release, podcast).

Stray Gas Workshop in Pittsburgh, PA - Nov. 4-6, 2009.

Some of the many sources and migration pathways that can be responsible for natural gas leaking into a building.08/25/2009 -- The USGS Eastern Region Science Office, USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center, and Pittsburgh Geological Society is holding a Stray Gas Workshop. This workshop will focus on the scientific basis for assessment of, and various types of geochemical analyses for, stray or fugitive gases. Stray gases can originate from a variety of sources and accumulate in natural and man-made spaces where dispersion and ventilation are inadequate. Tools and strategies for investigating stray gases, along with case studies, will be presented by scientists and specialists whose work has focused on the origins, migration, and accumulation of gases. (workshop web site)

40 Years Later, Cuyahoga River No Longer Burns.

40 Years Later, Cuyahoga River No Longer Burns. 06/01/2009 -- June 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the most famous fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. The 1969 fire was not the first on the Cuyahoga (that was in 1868) or the most fiscally damaging (that was in 1952), but national exposure in a Time magazine article (excerpt) and the Zeitgeist galvanized the environmental movement that led to the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972 and other environmental legislation. Today groups such as the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization and Ohio EPA work to ensure the environmental quality of the Cuyahoga, but the river is still an EPA Area of Concern. The Ohio WSC has been involved with many projects in and around the Cuyahoga River watershed including identification of pharmaceuticals and emerging contaminants in the water, research on beach monitoring, and the National Water Quality Assessment Program.

National Drinking Water Week – May 3-9.

National Drinking Water Week – May 3-9. 05/01/2009 --Only tap water delivers! Do you know where your water comes from and how water is made safe to drink?  Find out about Ohio drinking water and the history of water disinfection. The USGS conducts human-health related research on a range of water quality topics relevant to drinking water. National Drinking Water Week is sponsored by the  American Water Works Association.

National Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 16-20, 2009.

National Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 16-20, 2009.

03/13/2009 --Flooding threatens life and property in Ohio and throughout the Nation. National Flood Safety Awareness Week, sponsored by the National Weather Service, highlights some of the causes of floods, hazards of floods, and things people can do to minimize losses. Hydrologists at the Ohio Water Science Center have developed new flood-inundation maps of the Blanchard River in Findlay, Ohio to be used for a web-based flood-warning system. Major flooding occurred on the Blanchard River this week (view hydrograph), and a map of current flood and high-flow conditions is available from the USGS Water Watch (news release, photos of scientists locating high-water marks, and August 2007 flood hydrograph).

National Ground Water Awareness Week – March 8-14, 2009.

National Ground Water Awareness Week – March 8-14, 2009.03/06/2009 -- Celebrate and learn about ground water, the hidden resource. Ground water is the water that seeps into the ground and fills the pores and cracks in the rocks below the surface. In Ohio, almost five million people drink ground water supplied by public water systems, and an additional million more people get their drinking water from private wells. The Ohio Water Science Center is currently involved in several ground-water studies, including a recently released report about solid phase and dissolved arsenic underlying northern Preble County, Ohio. National Ground Water Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) and is supported by many organizations including the USGS, American Farm Bureau and the Groundwater Foundation. More information on ground water can be found at the USGS Ground Water Information Page.

Pakistani Scientists Trained In Public Health Microbiology.

Pakistani Scientists Trained in Public Health Microbiology.02/26/2009 -- Two scientists from the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Islamabad,  Pakistan, visited the USGS Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory for 4 weeks to learn analytical methods and sampling techniques for public health microbiology as part of a program entitled "Water Resources Capacity Building Efforts of the USGS and Pakistan,” funded by the U.S. State Department and led by the USGS International Water Resources Branch. The 8-week training is continuing in Michigan and Virginia. For additional information, please send e-mail.



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