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Water quality has declined since a Watershed Mentality was done three years ago ... what are regulators doing about it?

Water quality in Ohio has actually improved statewide as documented by the Ohio EPA Ohio 2010 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report.  Ohio uses specific criteria for fish and macroinvertebrates (aquatic insects) as the critical measure of water quality.  In general, large rivers in Ohio are meeting aquatic life use goals at a much higher percentage than smaller streams. Ohio’s large rivers (the 23 rivers that drain more than 500 square miles) continue to show improvement. The current large river full attainment statistic now stands at 93.1%, while the average watershed score is 58.5 and the principal streams and large rivers statistic stands at 70.8%.  http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/tmdl/2010IntReport/2010OhioIntegratedReport.aspx#condition

However, despite measured improvement, water quality issues remain in smaller watersheds and streams.  Many watershed studies indicate ongoing problems with nutrient management in Ohio waters.  Ohio’s nutrient management challenges stem from land management practices that are not regulated and rely on education and programs that cost-share with landowners to implement appropriate strategies and practices.

Gail Hesse, Ohio EPA

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