7/2/14
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Fee Oros
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mike Settles

Ohio EPA Awards $24,364 Environmental Education Grant to Portage County Organization

Hiram College received $24,364 from Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund the James H. Barrow Field Station Eagle Creek Restoration Citizen Science project. Eleven grants were awarded statewide for $304,136.

The project supports a multi-pronged community education initiative to showcase the benefits of a recent restoration of the natural meander to a channelized portion of Eagle Creek. The waterway is located on the James H. Barrow Field Station at Hiram College, in the Mahoning River watershed. The restoration work was funded through a grant from Ohio EPA’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program. The new education component will help high school, college students and local residents understand the importance of floodplains and how watersheds function to preserve the hydrology necessary to clean water and maintain biodiversity.

Hiram College faculty and students will create interpretive signs and displays for the Field Station trailhead pavilion and overlook. Digital cameras will provide continuous monitoring of water levels along the stream, providing a longitudinal dataset online. High school and college classes will collect the data, measuring precipitation and water volume to document restored functioning of the floodplain. They will also sample fish and macroinvertebrate populations to document increased biodiversity. Collaborators include the Davey Resource Group, Portage Park District, Portage Soil and Water Conservation District, and Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund is administered by Ohio EPA. Eligible grant recipients include environmental groups, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade or professional organizations, businesses and state and local governments. For additional information, contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund on the web or at (614) 644-2873.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.


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