The Nature Conservancy Supports H2Ohio
Program Will Help Improve Ohio’s Water Quality
On Thursday, November 14, Gov. Mike DeWine outlined the details of his H2Ohio fund, which leaders of The Nature Conservancy say is a positive step in addressing the sources of Ohio’s water quality issues.
The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Bill Stanley, Ohio State Director for The Nature Conservancy:
“H2Ohio creates huge opportunities for addressing the harmful algal blooms that threaten our drinking water supplies and disrupt our economy.
We are especially pleased to see $46 million in the first year dedicated to nature-based solutions, such as creating and restoring wetlands and floodplains. Wetlands help alleviate the problem of excessive nutrients entering our lakes and rivers by slowing the movement of water and filtering out phosphorus and sediments. Wetlands also help manage flooding, create critical habitat and support outdoor recreation activities. Working under the leadership of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy is helping to identify the most strategic project sites.
H2Ohio also allocates more than $30 million to farmers to implement proven water management tactics. The Nature Conservancy believes that H2Ohio’s identified best management practices, such as sub-surface placement of nutrients, conservation crop rotation, and two-stage ditches, will reduce the most phosphorus at the lowest cost. To be successful, it will be essential to monitor water quality over time and ensure the accountability of fund recipients.
The Nature Conservancy agrees with Governor DeWine that H2Ohio needs a long-term funding source in order to achieve tangible results. House Bill 7, passed by the Ohio House and now in the Senate, would create a perpetual trust fund. Environmental groups and the agricultural community alike are urging the Senate to pass HB 7 quickly.
Over time and with adequate funding, H2Ohio will be an important part of the solution in creating meaningful progress toward addressing Ohio’s algal bloom problems.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.