Happy World Water Day!

Happy World Water Day AWARE viewers! In 1993 the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22nd of each year World Water Day.  As members of AWARE it is our mission to share our professional and citizen knowledge of water quality management practices with our local watershed residents and community leaders. This year the theme for World Water Day is  "Why waste water?" and how how to reduce wastefulness of our water resources and the reuse of wastewater. For AWARE's purpose, we will focus on the reuse of household wastewater, or better known as grey water.
Grey water is wastewater that has not come in contact with feces.  It is "gently" used waste water from our household sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines.  Grey water may contain traces of grease, dirt, food, and household cleaning products, but is still safe to use as a watering source for our landscaping, flowers, plants, and lawn. Grey water can be used to water vegetable gardens as long as it does not come in contact with the edible parts of the plant. Depending on where you live and based on local building and/or plumbing codes and health department regulations, grey water reuse from  sinks, showers, and tubs may or may not be permissible. So check with your local codes and regulations first!!

In the event your area allows for greywater reuse, a simple start can begin with your washing machine.  Assuming one does not use chlorine bleach or harsh laundry detergent (most if not all are phosphate free)  a simple disconnection of the discharge hose is all it takes.  Of course you will need to provide an alternative direction for the discharge, so it is appropriate to suggest a containment system.  Think of a rain barrel setup outside accepting the discharge water from your washing machine!

For more information about greywater reuse, the Ohio State University Extension has a fact sheet available to view here.  

Are there ways you are preventing wastefulness of our water resources? Let us know by simply  sending us a message on the "Share Your Thoughts!" link on our blogsite.

Because nothing is perfect- 2017 Resolutions

There is a little "Calvin" in all of us! This Calvin and Hobbes excerpt from Bill Watterson's comic  is a reminder of how some resolutions are approached.   

At the January 2017 AWARE meeting, each attendee was asked to fill out a 2017 AWARE Resolution.  The responses are reminiscent of how AWARE's name change in 2009 redefined the group's purpose. Prior to 2009 AWARE was known as the Alliance for Watershed Education and Riparian Easements. A slight name change came after it was realized people may not know what a watershed or riparian easement was and therefore overlooked the group's significance. AWARE re-branding itself for education and outreach purposes and recognized the citizens and organizations involved with AWARE were educators in their respective positions.  AWARE morphed into a new role and became the Alliance for Watershed Action and Resource Education.

Because nothing is perfect, AWARE continues to grow in its outreach efforts.  The 2017 Resolutions made by AWARE are nothing short of obtainable.  They are possible, inclusive, and in need of everyone's help in order to achieve them.  Won't you consider making your own resolution or taking up a resolution and making it happen?  If not for yourself or agency, than for the improvement of our watershed's water quality? 

View 2017 AWARE Resolutions here.

Fertilizer Application Certification- Protecting Surface Waters

September 30, 2017 is the deadline for farmers to receive fertilizer application certification.  As per the Ohio SB150 farmers who farm 50 acres or more are required to take a 2-3 hour training course to receive the certification. See WKBN's news report about the new Nutrient Management requirement.

Why is fertilization management important?
It is important to note proper fertilization goes beyond the confines of a farmer, although this law only pertains to them.  Proper fertilization application can fall into the responsibility of land and homeowners who use fertilizers on their properties.  Fertilizers, when applied in excess amounts and at the wrong time can easily runoff into our local surface waters during a rain storm via neighborhood storm drains and roadside ditches. 

What can I do?
Before you sign you name to a commercial lawn maintenance company or buy your several bags of spring and summer fertilizers, perform a simple soil test!  A soil test is a cost effective way to see what exactly your lawn needs to maintain proper health.  Ask your commercial lawn company if they perform soil samples PRIOR to executing your lawn care contract.  If not, take the sample yourself and submit it to or one of several ag co-op centers who can prepare your sample for analysis.  You sample may show your lawn only need nitrogen or the pH adjusted. 

The Decision is yours...
The question you may want to ask BEFORE you sign on the line is how much GREEN do I want to keep in my pocket this year? The choice is yours, but your lawn, wallet, and surface waters will  thank you for taking the extra step.

For more information about soil sampling contact the following agencies:

Mahoning County Farm Bureau: 1-800-410-4613

Mahoning County OSU Extension Office: (330) 533-5538

Mahoning Soil and Water: (330) 740-7995

Fresh Coast Capital and AWARE

What do Fresh Coast Capital (Fresh Coast) and AWARE have in common? Take a look at Fresh Coast's website,  http://freshcoastcapital.com, to see how we share common grounds (or roots...hint, hint).


A Boardman School is Composting!

Congratulations to Boardman Glenwood Jr. High School on receiving a $16,053 Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) Grant! Students at the school will use the funds to reduce their waste by ~35% by composting waste in an EarthTub composting system. The composting will connect the idea of composting to issues facing the lakes within the Mill Creek MetroParks' lakes. In addition, the project will incorporate a compost day to educate school staff and community members about the benefits of using compost. At the conclusion of the project, bags of compost will be donated to community members,including parents, teachers, business owners and urban/community gardens.

Boardman Glenwood Jr. High applied for a OEEF General Grant, where funding requests are greater than $5,000, grant requests can be up to $50,000, and applications become more competitive. To put the award into perspective a total of $247,874 in general OEEF funds was awarded to 6 other entities  including Oberlin College, Ohio University, Columbus Green Building Forum, Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, the Toledo Zoo, and Earth Day Coalition. The OEEF program acquires its funding from 1/2 of the civil penalties collected from violations of Ohio's air and water pollution control regulations.

Congratulations again Boardman Glenwood Jr High for what will be a great project that is sure to continue bringing attention to our region and the value of our surface waters!!

"Ah-Ha!" moments of 2016

Since AWARE's blog was created several years ago, it has become a good sounding board for interested or invested partners to discuss issues within our local watersheds.  With that being said, it is that time of year to reflect on some topics, or "Ah-Ha!" moments worth revisiting and giving second (or third or fourth) thoughts to:

Eastgate Will Host A Harmful Algal Bloom Workshop

You are invited to attend a Monitoring Harmful Algal Blooms with GIS and Remote Sensing workshop scheduled for December 8th from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. The workshop will address the causes of harmful algal blooms, how to identify and reduce nutrient loads, and highlight how remote sensing and GIS are being used to study the problem and educate the public. See the attached flyer for more information or contact Bethaney Krzys at bkrzys@eastgatecog.org. We hope you can join us for this exciting workshop!

Click here for more information and to view the workshop flier.