07/11/2014

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"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads."
- Henry David Thoreau

About Ripple Effect

Every pollution battle ultimately comes down to mankind's desire to better itself while protecting its sense of home. In this blog, Blade Staff Writer Tom Henry looks at how Great Lakes energy-environmental issues have a ripple effect on our public health, our natural resources, our economy, our psychological well-being, and our homespun pride.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 
MEDIA CONTACT: Caitlin Conant | 202-224-5190

 

Portman Algae Bill Signed Into Law

The Law Includes a New Emphasis on Protecting the Great Lakes from Harmful Algal Blooms

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that President Obama has signed into law his algae legislation, the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013.  This legislation, authored by Portman and Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)  would reauthorize the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Hypoxia Research and Control Act, which was first enacted in 1998 and reauthorized in 2004 and 2008 (16 U.S.C. 1451 note).  For over a decade this program has served as the federal government’s research and response framework for harmful algal blooms.  Senator Portman negotiated a new Great Lakes section for the program that will ensure federal agencies prioritize monitoring and mitigation efforts on fresh water bodies such as Lake Erie.

 

Last Saturday, Portman hosted a Lake Erie roundtable discussion at the Meinke Marina in Curtice, Ohio following a fishing trip on Lake Erie. The roundtable was attended by a coalition of conservation leaders, businesses, tourism industry officials, sportsmen and local residents who share Portman’s interest in protecting the Great Lakes.

 

“This legislation takes critical steps toward protecting Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys from harmful algae that has become an increasing  problem for fresh water bodies in our state,” said Portman. “For the first time, we will prioritize the protection of Ohio’s fresh bodies of water, which is critical for our tourism and fishing industries. I’m pleased the President has signed this important bill into law, especially after visiting Lake Erie last weekend and meeting with local stakeholders.”

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 
MEDIA CONTACT: Caitlin Conant | 202-224-5190

 

Portman Algae Bill Passes Senate, Heads to the President for Signature

The Program Includes a New Emphasis on Protecting the Great Lakes from Harmful Algal Blooms

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced final passage of his legislation, the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013.  This legislation, authored by Portman and Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)  would reauthorize the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Hypoxia Research and Control Act, which was first enacted in 1998 and reauthorized in 2004 and 2008.  For over a decade, this program has served as the federal government’s research and response framework for harmful algal blooms. Portman negotiated a new Great Lakes section for the program that will ensure federal agencies prioritize monitoring and mitigation efforts on fresh water bodies such as Lake Erie.

 

“This legislation takes critical steps toward protecting Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys from harmful algae that has become a tremendous problem for fresh water bodies in our state,” said Portman. “For the first time, we will prioritize the protection of Ohio’s fresh bodies of water, which is critical for our tourism and fishing industries. I’m pleased that my bill is headed to the President for signature, and will continue my work to ensure our bodies of fresh water are protected.”

 

“Ohio Farm Bureau appreciates Senator Portman's leadership in reauthorizing this important legislation,” said John C. (Jack) Fisher, executive vice president, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “There is significant value in having a centralized clearinghouse for data and information as well as having long-term tracking of water quality. The act also provides for nearly real-time status reports of algal blooms, which allows farmers and researchers to determine if current solutions are effective. As the agricultural community continues to implement new practices in order to decrease nutrient run-off, we believe this legislation is an important component in improving Ohio's water resources.”

 

“Harmful algal blooms are a serious threat to fishing and the recreational use of Lake Erie and other waters in the nation,” said Josh Knights, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy Ohio. “The harmful algal bloom legislation coauthored by Senator Portman provides needed help in combating this threat.”

 

“Clean water in Ohio’s lakes and streams is vitally important to anglers as well as the state’s economy,” said Nick Pinizzotto, United States Sportsmen's Alliance president and CEO. “We applaud Senator Portman for taking a leadership role via this important piece of legislation that improves the way harmful algal blooms are addressed.”

 

“Communities across Ohio are experiencing the worst toxic algal blooms in a generation, costing Ohioans millions of dollars in clean-up costs and lost recreational days,” said Kristy Meyer, managing director of agricultural, health & clean water programs at the Ohio Environmental Council. “Thanks to Senator Portman recognizing that a healthy environment equates to a healthier economy and better quality of life we will see movement towards healthier waterbodies in Ohio.”

 

“As a business owner that operates around Buckeye Lake, I want to personally thank Senator Portman for fighting for companies in Ohio that are negatively impacted by harmful algal blooms.  This bill will allow us to work together to not only protect Ohio's natural resources, but good jobs in our state,” said David Levacy, Owner, Buckeye Lake Marina and Fairfield County Commissioner.

 

“Passage of Senator Portman's Algae Bill is great news for Lake Erie and the country,” said Jeffrey M. Reutter, The Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program Director.  “Excessive nutrient loading, and the Harmful Algal Blooms it causes, is the biggest problem facing the Lake Erie ecosystem, the fishing and tourism businesses that depend on it, and the health of everyone who drinks water from Lake Erie and surface water from anywhere in the country.  This problem in national in scope and deserves national attention and the financial resources this bill will provide.”

 

Just recently, the Ohio EPA issued harmful algae warnings for Buckeye Lake in Columbus. This is the 4th consecutive summer that algae warnings have been issued for Buckeye Lake.  $700,000 has been spent by Ohio EPA over the last four years on efforts to reduce algae blooms at Buckeye Lake. In 2013, the city of Toledo was forced to spend $3 million to protect the city's water supply from Lake Erie's harmful algae and Columbus spent $723,000 to address an algae outbreak at Hoover Reservoir. It costs the city of Celina $450,000 annually to combat algae in Grand Lakes St. Marys.  According to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report, U.S. seafood and tourism industries suffer annual losses of $82 million due to economic impacts of HABs.

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 
MEDIA CONTACT: Caitlin Conant | 202-224-5190

 

Portman Applauds House Passage of Algae Bill

Passage Comes Days After Ohio EPA Issued Toxic Algae Warnings in Parts of State

 

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) applauded yesterday’s House passage of his legislation, the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013.  This legislation, authored by Portman and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)  would reauthorize the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Hypoxia Research and Control Act, which was first enacted in 1998 and reauthorized in 2004 and 2008 (16 U.S.C. 1451 note).  For over a decade this program has served as the federal government’s research and response framework for harmful algal blooms.

 

“This legislation takes critical steps toward protecting Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys from harmful algae that has become a tremendous problem for fresh water bodies in our state,” said Portman. “As families and businesses across Ohio continue to live in a time of economic uncertainty, we cannot afford to let this threaten our tourism and fishing industries. I’m pleased the House passed this bill and I urge my Senate colleagues to support final passage.”

 

Portman’s bipartisan legislation passed overwhelmingly in the Senate in February of 2014 and the House yesterday. Just recently, the Ohio EPA issued toxic algae warnings for Buckeye Lake in Columbus. This is the 4th consecutive summer that toxic algae warnings have been issued for Buckeye Lake.  $700,000 has been spent by Ohio EPA over the last four years on efforts to reduce algae blooms at Buckeye Lake. In 2013, the city of Toledo was forced to spend $3 million to protect the city's water supply from Lake Erie's toxic algae and Columbus spent $723,000 to address an algae outbreak at Hoover Reservoir. It costs the city of Celina $450,000 annually to combat algae in Grand Lakes St. Marys.  According to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report, U.S. seafood and tourism industries suffer annual losses of $82 million due to economic impacts of HABs.

 
Good Tax News for Small Businesses
 
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has found some truly good news emerging from this year’s budget.  Many of our partners who help Ohio outdoor enthusiasts fish, hunt and boat are likely eligible for a big tax break.  Governor Kasich’s new state budget provides a 50 percent state income tax deduction for a majority of small businesses.
 
This means many of our charter boat captains, canoe liveries and bait shops all over Ohio will be paying a lot less in state taxes in the upcoming year.  We here at ODNR want to thank Governor Kasich for his efforts in making this tax cut possible.  His effort toward getting this done highlights his great understanding and appreciation for the small business owners that keep our boaters and anglers out on the water. 
 
According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, beginning with the 2013 tax season, a business owner can exclude 50 percent of Ohio net business income from the adjusted gross income they report on their Ohio personal income tax return. If the business has multiple owners, each is eligible to claim the deduction.  This exclusion is available on up to $250,000, meaning the deduction is capped at $125,000. 
 
Owners of (and investors in) Ohio businesses structured as sole proprietorships, partnerships, Subchapter S corporations (S-corps) and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) can qualify for this tax cut.  These businesses commonly referred to as pass-through entities (PTEs) are not taxed as a business by the federal or state government; instead, owners/investors receiving income from the business pay federal and state personal income taxes on that income. 
 
Because your business is very likely to qualify for this new tax cut, I wanted to share this good news with you as you prepare for a big Fourth of July weekend.  All of us here at ODNR wish you, your colleagues and customers the best this holiday and throughout Ohio’s outdoor recreation season.
 
For more information on this tax cut, please contact your personal financial advisor, the Ohio Department of Taxation at 1-800-282-1780 or visit their website at www.tax.ohio.gov.
 
 
 

Big Headed Carp

As you have undoubtedly heard, 6 of over 400 eDNA samples from the Maumee and Sandusky Bay areas in August 2011 have tested positive for silver and bighead carp. A positive eDNA test can come from dead or alive carp, or potentially from other sources such as bird feces. We have not seen a bighead carp since 2000, when two were reported by commercial fisheries in Ohio and Ontario. We have never seen a silver carp in Lake Erie.
 
We are in an active surveillance mode now, looking for any evidence of these species in the lake. Actual specimens are needed (dead or alive). We greatly appreciate any assistance from Ohio fishers in contacting us if these species are encountered. Please pass the word to contact us if anyone comes across these fish .
 
Feel free to contact me as needed.
 
Thanks,
 
 
Roger
 
Roger L. Knight
 
Lake Erie Fisheries Program Administrator
ODNR Division of Wildlife
Sandusky Fisheries Research Station
305 E. Shoreline Drive
Sandusky, Ohio 44870
419-625-8062 ext 104 office M-F, 8 am – 5 pm
419-346-7499 cellular
419-625-6272 fax
roger.knight@dnr.state.oh.us

 

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