Human activity along the Ohio River reduced wildlife habitats, which contributed to more than 600 species becoming threatened or endangered, according to a report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
But there is a plan to improve the waterfront. The report, released on Wednesday, included plans to improve the Ohio River Basin in 15 states by 2030.
The report was prepared by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), and the Ohio River Basin Alliance (ORBA).
The plan includes portions of the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
It aims to harness the Ohio River in the way states have revitalized the Chesapeake Bay and Florida Everglades, according to the press release.
“We have a historic opportunity to advocate for communities large and small in the region – and we will. We look forward to working with stakeholders in the region as well as local officials, governors and members of Congress to implement these sensible solutions before these challenges become more difficult and costly. We have solutions and it is time to use them, “said Harry Stone, chairman of the Ohio River Basin Alliance, in a press release.
Here are the six priorities of the plan:
- Restore the river, its tributaries, and ecosystems to protect human, fish, and wildlife health.
- Countering floods to protect vulnerable communities and infrastructure.
- Make sure there is plenty of clean water for people, fish, and wildlife, and for businesses.
- Increase nature-based recreation and tourism.
- Expansion of water trade and guarantee of efficient water trade through appropriate lock and dam infrastructure.
- Support research and education to inform the region’s needs and opportunities.
There are dozens of strategies the groups have developed to improve the pelvis.
Here are some of the goals:
- From 2021 to 2025, the outdoor leisure industry is expected to grow above the national average.
- Form coalitions by 2021 to meet research needs and develop a research investment strategy for the Ohio River.
- Develop a plan to restore the Ohio River Basin by identifying and protecting vulnerable ecosystems by 2022.
- By 2025, identify areas of high incidence of harmful algal blooms and develop a strategy to reduce the number of blooms that will occur in 2030 compared to 2020.
- By 2025, identify the needs for drinking and wastewater systems infrastructure and develop a strategy to maintain these systems.
- Prepare an investment plan by 2025 to address areas with high flood risk.
- By 2025, draw up a plan to update and expand components of an adequate flood warning system, taking climate change into account.
- Show that by 2030, compared to 2020, more water bodies in the Ohio River Basin will meet the drinking water, swimming, and fish uses of the Clean Water Act.
“It is hoped that completion of these projects will be a step toward a healthy, productive Ohio River Basin,” the plan says.
Julia is the Northern Kentucky government reporter for the Report For America program. Anonymous donors are committed to covering the local donor portion of their grant-funded position with The Enquirer. If you would like to support Julia’s work, you can donate to her Report For America position on this website or email their editor, Carl Weiser, at cweise[email protected] to find out how you can fund their work.
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