MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Lauer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Ohio EPA Awards Environmental Education Grants to Athens County Organizations

Ohio University, Department of geography, will use a $4,948 Ohio EPA education grant to provide the public with information about how rain gardens can be used as stormwater management tools.

The project uses the first low-cost digital sensors designed for rain garden monitoring to make real time water quality and quantity information available to the public on an associated web site. Educators may use the web site and its links to incorporate into their classroom activities from the nationally award-winning curriculum of Project WET.

The project also will include videos about stormwater, rain gardens and the sensor design and installation process as well as an interpretive sign and posters that explain the function of rain gardens.

The second grant, for $5,000, was awarded to Light on the Land Services to help explain to dairy farmers the benefit of using biochar to recover excess nutrients in dairy wastewater. Biochar is similar in look to charcoal and is created by slowly burning organic material – typically agricultural waste – until it reaches a porous, carbonized stage. The material then can be used as a soil augmentation to help hold nutrients and bacteria in the area in which the biochar has been placed.

Light on the Land will introduce to dairy farmers the various ways biochar can be integrated into farming operations to reduce the nutrient contents of water as it washes over farms.

A total of seven grants were awarded statewide for $27,030.

The next OEEF application deadline will be Jan. 17, 2017, with an electronic letter of intent to apply due no later than Jan. 9, 2017.

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.


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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