By: Susie Steffensen
There are a number of definitions for sustainability and ways to achieve it. For example, one definition is, “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Another, as it applies to nature is, “The quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.” For both of these definitions, steps taken now will determine the quality of life for future generations.
There are factors that play into the world’s ability to be sustainable, such as population growth…. energy usage….waste production… agricultural practices and deforestation…plastic use. Addressing these factors and implementing practices that reduce their effects on the environment is the goal, and everyone can do a little something to achieve this goal.
Recycling and reducing the use of single use plastic addresses the need to reduce waste. Turning down the thermostat, turning off lights, and reducing the hot water heater to 120° are ways to reduce energy consumption. Implementing best management practices such as precision agriculture, cover crops, and grassed waterways will improve water quality and help prevent erosion.
So if you are already taking action to help sustainability, thank you! Picking up litter, stopping erosion on your property, allowing weeds to grow in your yard… these things are so beneficial and don’t cost a thing. It might mean rearranging your priorities, but anything that benefits our natural world will benefit you in the long run.
For more information follow us on Facebook, as we will be posting additional ideas on ways to practice sustainable living.
In recent months, Clermont SWCD staff has responded to a variety of complaints regarding materials being emptied into a storm drain or ditch, including restaurant grease, concrete washout, wastewater from carpet cleaning and pet washing, paint and motor oil. Please remember that storm sewers do not lead to a treatment plant, but rather directly to a nearby waterway, and dumping anything other than water into a storm sewer is illegal.
If you have questions on how to properly dispose of an item, please contact us at 513-732-7075 ext. 3. If you witness an illegal dumping, use our Report a Spill page to find out how best to report it.
If you have an interest in learning more about the water quality in a nearby stream, you may want to consider becoming a volunteer water quality monitor. The Saturday Stream Snapshot (SSS) is a volunteer program run by Greenacres Foundation that researches the health of the Little Miami River watershed. Saturday Stream Snapshot takes place on the second Saturday of each month from March-November (11 am – 2 pm).
Volunteers are able to participate by collecting water samples from sites along the Little Miami or any of its tributaries and/or performing water quality analysis at the Water Quality Education Center in Milford. No previous water testing or lab experience is needed to participate! To learn more about the SSS program, please contact Emily Pickett at firstname.lastname@example.org or (513) 370-3662.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced Friday, March 20, 2020, as the deadline to submit applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This is a voluntary conservation program which helps producers make conservation work for them. Through EQIP, NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or conservation practices.
Financial assistance is now available in a variety of agricultural categories such as cropland, forestry, pasture operations, and organic. Several projects are also available which address water quality, forestry management, improving pollinator populations and wildlife habitat, pasture improvements and many more.
To participate in USDA conservation programs, applicants should be farmers or farm or forest landowners and must meet eligibility criteria. Applications signed and submitted to NRCS by March 20 deadline will be evaluated for fiscal year 2020 funding.
Contact John Williams for additional information and to sign up at 513-877-3720.
At the end of January, Judy Krebs retired from Clermont SWCD after 31 years of service. When Judy started as the District’s first ever Education Specialist, she instituted the in-school education programs that continue to this day.
In recent years, Judy would present over 300 programs annually to local students on various topics related to soil and water conservation and litter prevention and recycling. During her tenure, Clermont SWCD was named the Ohio Conservation Education District of the Year in 2000 and 2010. Over 31 years, Judy has touched the lives of countless students and worked diligently over the years to instill a strong sense of environmental stewardship in Clermont County communities. Thank you for your service, Judy! You will be missed.