The Ohio Board of Regents has announced a series of research projects that will use a dedicated $2 million in research funds to address water quality and algal bloom toxicity in the state.
A group of more than 60 university researchers convened by Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey worked to come up with recommendations and a proposal on how to best utilize and invest the funds. The researchers represented a number of University System of Ohio campuses – including The Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green State University, Central State University, the University of Toledo, and Kent State University – as well as Defiance College and Heidelberg University. Also engaged were the directors of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio EPA, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Department of Health.
“This group put a great deal of time and effort into addressing this important issue,” Carey said. “I am very proud of the effort of the researchers from both the public and private higher education institutions. This collaborative effort is evidence of the value of higher education in Ohio to solving the toxic algae issue. We need to build upon this model with other important issues facing our state.”
The Board of Regents’ $2 million is being matched by the institutions, a move that Carey said shows the dedication of the state and the schools to this project. The Ohio Sea Grant is the mechanism that will be used to distribute funding for the projects.
The workgroup focused on five key areas, among which the funds are divided: Lake Erie harmful algal blooms (HAB) and lake water quality; drinking water testing and detection; agricultural land use practices, sources of enrichment, water quality, and engineered systems; human health and toxicity; and economics and policy reform.
The Ohio Board of Regents is the state agency that coordinates higher education in Ohio. The agency is directed by its Chancellor, who is a member of the Governor of Ohio’s cabinet. The Chancellor, with the advice of the nine-member Board of Regents, provides policy guidance to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly, advocates for the University System of Ohio and carries out state higher education policy.