I attended this symposium with Adam Porter to represent Paddle for Heroes. We arrived very early so the networking started right away. We met and talked to several people from the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program. I spoke with one about my idea of improving the access points on the Kokosing to make them more accessible to old folks like me.
Brian Ball the Mount Vernon City Engineer spoke about the Mount Vernon river project that was just completed. He explained why they constructed the dike repair and J Hooks the way they did and what It would do to help the river ecology. After his presentation I spoke with him about how I found the condition of the river in that area, which I find is very good and improved. The water levels are deeper for boats to get through, and the strainers don’t accumulate like they used to. Over the day I spoke with him several times. Once about arraigning to clean up the abandoned homeless camp on the West side of the drainage ditch near the railroad bridge West of the Viaduct. He wants me to contact his office to get things moving on that. I explained to him the work that we have already done picking up litter on the river from Riverside Park to Memorial Park. After the presentation on he invasion of Amur Honeysuckle, I asked Mr. Bell if that was a problem in Mount Vernon on the river and he said yes and they had done some projects to remove it and will have more in the future. I told him to include us in his call list for help to do that.
The presentation on the Amur Honeysuckle invasion was very enlightening and is something that I personally will be helping to eradicate when I can. It can choke out streams and all the life in them.
I spoke with several members of River Rangers International. I now have direct communication with Rondo to report strainers on the Kokosing and also told him I am more than willing to assist in any way I can in removing them. He thanked me for reporting them in the past. They have a project coming up to remove the huge log jam on the old bridge in Millwood. You can paddle by it but when the water gets lower that will become a portage situation unless removed.
The presentation by Dr. Richard Moore was interesting. He stressed the need for cooperation of all the stake holders in preserving rivers. That the farmers and land holders must be included to preserve and maintain the water quality in the primary headwaters. He went over the Sugar Creek basin project that he worked on and showed how it improved over the years. He also stressed that you must convince the stake holders that pollution is not a cost saving it can become a cost paying thing. There were many programs available to farmers and businesses that pay them not to pollute the headwaters fertilizers and industrial run off. He gave an example of a cheese factory they worked with. Rather than fines (which they could have imposed) they worked with the company to have them install the systems that would contain and process their pollution before it got into the streams.
I picked up literature about invasive species, plant and animal if anyone would like to see them.
They also indicated they are looking for and at adding scenic rivers in South Eastern Ohio, they mentioned Captina Creek and The Little Muskingum.
The lunch was great, the coffee was good, and the networking was great.