The meeting was at the ODNR Gun Range at Delaware Lake. If you have not been here, it is a great gun range and has super inexpensive prices to shoot. Here is the web site, check it out. https://ohiodnr.gov/go-and-do/plan-a-visit/find-a-property/delaware-wildlife-area-shooting-rangehttps://ohiodnr.gov/go-and-do/plan-a-visit/find-a-property/delaware-wildlife-area-shooting-range
I attended the meeting with Rosemarie Caskey another new board member to the Ohio Scenic Rivers Association.
The meeting started off with pastry’s and coffee, and many introductions to more people than I can remember. It was called to order and the first speaker was Eric Saas, from the ODNR H2Ohio Program, that is helping the Lake Erie basin deal with water quality issues. The H2Ohio will hopefully be expanded in next years budget to be the H2Ohio Rivers Program and provide funding for water quality issues in our Ohio rivers. There will be grants available, and litter control was one of the issues they discussed at being an area where grants may be available. Information is available here https://h2.ohio.gov/
Christine Szymanski from ODNR spoke about Stream Quality Monitoring and how they do it. She spoke about the volunteer programs and how to involve the community in sampling.
Jason Brownknight from Little Miami Conservancy spoke about the Little Miami Scenic River and what they are doing to protect the health of it. More information can be found here. https://www.littlemiami.org/
The most exciting presentation of the day was from Amy Mackey, Project Manager, Ohio University, Racoon Creek Watershed Coordinator. She was passionate about everything she said. She explained the issues they had with essentially a dead body of water that had few to 0 fish. She showed the process they went through to mitigate the acid mine run off and bring the stream back to health. Racoon Creek is most likely the first Scenic River in Southeast Ohio. We got maps of it and plan on paddling it very soon. If you want to hear a great success story about how people can change and help change the damage from the past, read about this creek. http://www.raccooncreek.org/raccoon-creek-partnership/
The roles of the local river advisory councils and the state council were explained . It was stressed how important the local river councils are to that river. We heard some success stories about how local councils helped prevent development projects that would have damaged the rivers. We heard about the SR 229 Project near Big Run that has stabilized the bank so the road doesn’t fall into the river.
We had break out sessions to talk about concerns of council members and successes, then came back together to talk about them as a group. One of the main topics was litter control. We discussed making a proposal to the state to make the 4 dollar tire fee a deposit rather than a fee so that even if people tossed the tires, you could collect them and turn them in for money. We discussed membership issues, and how to recruit for the local councils so that we keep them full and have quorums so that business can be conducted.
I spoke to many people about our onion bag box project and have some contacts for other boards to go speak with to help them get their projects started, one being the Friends of the Lower Olentangy. Overall it was a very productive meeting, and there was much networking accomplished. Can’t wait for the next one. I did sign up for the Membership Committee so If I contact you about membership, you will know why, lol.
More information on Ohio Scenic Rivers Association can be found here. https://osra.clubexpress.com/