Cuyahoga County’s 59 communities are on the front lines of sustainability. They are responding directly to citizen demands for more choices and better performance on issues such as energy, transportation, local food, and solid waste. In response, the County's Department of Sustainability partnered with the GreenCityBlueLake Institute to put together a summary of some of the key sustainability issues communities are addressing today.
Green news, reflections, and stories from Ohio's leading environmental advocates.
Today, people around the world are celebrating water and reflecting on how it interacts with and shapes our daily lives.
The Great Lakes provide 40 million people with drinking water. The Lakes hold one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water and if spilled out over the continental US the water within the Great Lakes would submerge the country under 9.5 feet of water. Although we have an abundance of freshwater in this region, we must be good stewards. That’s why the OEC has taken a strong stand against a proposal from Waukesha, Wisconsin, to divert million of gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan.
Ohioans are all too familiar with the bright green slime floating in our streams, lakes and public reservoirs. This blue-green algae produces toxins that threaten our drinking water. These toxins pose a serious danger to our health. The most dangerous, called microcystin, causes liver and kidney damage, with our young children and infants particularly at risk.
The ice is still grasping to hold its claim-the vernal pool. It is a losing battle given the warm temperatures we are having. The ice continues to transform into a venue for many life forms. Even ones measured in the millimeters, such as baby copepods. I was surprised when I peered into the observation tray to see what looked like tiny sticks moving. It was two caddisfly larva!
"The future of power is changing, and FirstEnergy is changing with it" says the radio ad launching a new initiative touting the company's transition to a "cleaner energy future." Their website - theswitchison.com - claims the company is recognized as having one of the cleanest power fleets in the nation, and that they are making changes to best suit the demands of their customers.
Since the news broke of lead contamination in drinking water in Sebring, Ohio, the OEC has been diligently working on the issue. In less than a month, we’ve developed legislative concepts to fix the problems in the federal lead and copper rule using state law, and we’ve been sharing these proposals with congressional and state lawmakers.
As winter re-establishes itself this week, there is another world beginning to take shape. A world where water and ice dance between life and death. A world where an organism’s decision can mean a full meal or missed lunch. This world is known as a vernal pool, or seasonal wetland.
In the aftermath of widespread lead contamination in drinking water in Flint, Michigan, people across the country have started asking: could my water be contaminated, too? While Flint represents the worst-case scenario, we are learning that this is not an isolated problem. In late January, reports surfaced that Sebring, Ohio, a small community in northeast Ohio, had lead contamination in their water as well.
Last week, the United States Supreme Court gave a surprise decision on the Clean Power Plan – the nation’s first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants. The Court’s announcement to halt the implementation of the CPP has shocked many, and for good reason. The Supreme Court has never stopped implementation of a regulation before a lower federal court has had its say.