Making Salt Sense

Photo courtesy of NEO-PIPE
We can all agree salt helps keep our roadways, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots safe. However, too much salt does not make our streams, rivers, and lakes healthy for aquatic life. Like humans, aquatic organisms have toxicity thresholds, including thresholds for sodium chloride.

Most of our salt is a mixture of sodium and chloride. Because chloride is more toxic to aquatic ecosystems, scientists focus on the chloride side of salt. Chloride enters a water system from stormwater runoff or snow melt and either is absorbed into the ground or travels into nearby streams or conveyance systems that ultimately lead to drinking water sources.  The unfortunate news about chloride is it cannot be filtered out of water.

There is no easy answer to the question about salt application, but what we do know is this- One 12 oz. coffee mug of salt is enough for 10 sidewalk squares or 250 square feet. What a great way to re- purpose an old coffee mug, save money on salt application, and benefit the environment!

Happy and safe winter wishes from the members of AWARE!

Now Available for review: 2013 Lower Mahoning RIver Watershed Biological and Water Quality Study

 The Ohio EPA released the 2013 Draft Lower Mahoning River Watershed Biological and Water Quality report for public review and comment. Please take a moment to read the draft report and provide any comments you may have regarding the report.  All comments are due to the Ohio EPA no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 1, 2018.

Jump on the Green Infrastructure train!

On Saturday, June 9, 2018 #GREENISGOOD Youngstown will host a Green Infrastructure (GI) tour of Youngstown.  This is a great opportunity to see first hand what GI is all about!! Tourists will capture a glimpse of small scale projects (i.e. rain gardens) to larger projects (i.e. parking lot pavers) that pack a punch in storm water management!

Green Is Good Youngstown

Our friends at Fresh Coast Capital and The Colony Youngstown are teaming up to green the City of Youngstown with workshops focused on educating residents about nature and its role it plays in managing storm water.Green infrastructure includes practices designed to promote infiltration, filtration and/or water storage from impervious surface runoff. The initial workshops will be held at the following days and locations:

  • Thursday, March 8th , 5:30pm-7:00pm at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
  • Friday, March 9th, 10:00am-11:30am at the Michael Kusalaba Library
  • Saturday, March 10, 9:00am-10:30am at Choffin Career and Technical Center. 
Visit the Youngstown Green Infrastructure Facebook Page for more information and updates on how the City is greening itself!

Working Together- YES WE CAN!

As snow melt turns into storm water flow, this video shares one collaborative example that can be applied to all watershed landscapes.  

Soils and Fertility workshops

The Mahoning County Ohio State University Extension office and the Mahoning County Farm Bureau will be hosting a workshop focusing on maintaining your gardens and landscapes with understanding what your soil needs and does not need.  Join OSU Extension to begin your journey of understanding soil and fertility while safeguarding water quality and the environment!

You have choices! The workshop will be held on two separate days, October 10th and October 11th. Contact the OSU Extension office at (330) 533-5538 for more information!  

A Great Ending for a Yellow Creek Watershed Project

Project collaborators pictured (from left the right): Mr. Dave Purins, Principal at Poland Middle School/McKinley Elementary; Mr. John Woolard, Stormwater Administrator for the Mahoning County Engineer's Office; Mayor Tim Sicafuse, Poland Village Mayor; Mr. Dave Janofa, Superintendent of Poland Local School District; Mr. Ryan Tekac, Director of Environmental Health at the Mahoning County District Board of Health; Ms. Lisa Iberis, Assistant Principal at Poland Middle School/McKinley Elementary; Ms. Stephanie Dyer, Environmental Program Manager at Eastgate; Ms. Joanne Wollet, Poland Township Trustee; and Ms. Elinor Zedaker, Chairwoman of the Poland Municipal Forest Board. 

The Yellow Creek Watershed Stormwater Education Sign project, "You are Here: A Snapshot of the Yellow Creek Watershed", ended on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 with the unveiling of a sign at Poland Village Hall.  The last and final sign for the project was held off until Tuesday to bring the project full circle to Village Hall where the stormwater education conversation began.  Yellow Creek was flowing steadily in the background, as Eastgate's Stephanie Dyer thanked everyone for the tremendous amount of time and effort spent collaborating with Eastgate and one another. A special thanks to collaborator Mill Creek MetroParks for designing the permanent sign design as well as to Poland High School's Multimedia Production Teacher, Mr. Patrick Williams, and McKinley Middle School's Science Teacher, Mr. Ken Cullar for their participation/involvement in the project! This project will help present and future Yellow Creek residents and students understand stormwater and the changing dynamics of Yellow Creek and its surrounding land uses.