Why a Sandusky River Watershed Symposium?
The Sandusky River Watershed of Northcentral Ohio is typical of many of the Eastern Corn Belt watersheds that drain into Lake Erie. While land use within the watershed is dominated by row crop agriculture, it also has a relatively high rural population density. Consequently, its land and water resources are under substantial pressure - pressure to reduce pollutant loading to Lake Erie and pressure to assure that its streams and rivers provide safe drinking water, safe and attractive recreational opportunities and good habitat for aquatic life.
The Sandusky River Watershed is unique in terms of the amount of information available regarding its water resources and the impacts of land use on those resources. Part of that information has been developed by the long-term water quality studies of researchers the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg College. Part is due to the recently completed biological studies of its streams by the Ohio EPA. And part is due to the resource information and planning of the Sandusky River Watershed Coalition.
It is clear that future efforts to improve water resources in this watershed must be directed at both reducing pollutant export to Lake Erie and improving water resources within the streams and rivers that drain the watershed. Such efforts must be integrated, effective, efficient, acceptable to watershed residents and fundable.
This symposium will bring together those who have built the environmental data sets that describe its water resources, those who are setting environmental goals applicable to the watershed, those who are knowledgeable about the tools available for remedial programs, those who can fund appropriate implementation programs, those who implement best management practices on their lands, and those researchers who can evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. We trust that the information shared and the ensuing discussions will lead to continuing and expanding efforts to improve water resources and to understand how best to manage these resources now and into the future.
In that the Sandusky Watershed is typical of surrounding watersheds, many of the discussions and observations at this symposium will be applicable to surrounding watersheds. Representatives of those watersheds are invited to participate.
Sandusky River Watershed Coalition Symposium Committee
John Crumrine, NCWQR
Katie McKibben, Ohio EPA
Chris Riddle, Sandusky River Watershed.Coalition
Bob Vargo, ODNR
Ken Kreiger, NCWQR
Tia Rice, Seneca SWCD
Stu Smith, Smith-Comesky Ground Water Service
Dave Baker, NCWQR, Chair