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Ohio Soil and Water Commission sends watershed decision to subcommittee


*Supporting Member*
Mahoning Co.
By Matt Reese and Ty Higgins

There was another round of water drama ’18 today when, at their scheduled meeting, the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission had their first official look at the watersheds that were to be considered “Watersheds in Distress” through an executive order signed by Gov. John Kasich last week.

The executive order targets eight watersheds in the western basin of Lake Erie to be considered for designation under state law as “Watersheds in Distress,” based on their high nutrient levels, especially phosphorous. These include:

Platter Creek
Little Flat Rock Creek
Little Auglaize River
Eagle Creek
Auglaize River
Blanchard River
St. Marys River
Ottawa River.
In today’s meeting, the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission decided to refer the Distressed Watershed Designation decision to a subcommittee for further study.

“We are going to move it to a subcommittee and we are expecting a great deal of stakeholder influence, which we have not had as much as we could have, then move forward with it. The heavy lifting will start now,” said Tom Price, the chair of the governor-appointed Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission. “There will be different interests in that subcommittee. There will be those who want this done tomorrow and there will be those who want some more research done.”

The Commission heard from a number of farmers and farm organizations about the potential perils of a hasty decision on this potentially costly and cumbersome “Watersheds in Distress” designation for roughly 7,000 farmers and 2 million acres in northwest Ohio. The Commission also heard from many proponents of the measures in the executive order.

In the end, agricultural interests were pleased with the decision of the Commission to take another, more in depth, look into the complexities of the issue.

“We’re looking forward to the work ahead of us,” said Yvonne Lesicko, with the Ohio Farm Bureau. “We are looking forward to the fact that we are going to be a part of this process now, hopefully, through this subcommittee and that the input of our farmers is going to be heard. We commend decision of the Commission.”

If designated Watersheds in Distress, farmers within them to develop and implement nutrient management plans. These plans include rules for the use, storage, handling and control of nutrients and the development of management plans for all agricultural land and operations within each designated watershed. If implemented, a “Watershed in Distress” designation can only be removed after the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture has confirmed the sustained recovery, restoration and mitigation of factors leading to the original designation.


Senior Member
Walbridge oh
Yeah look a lot deeper! How many tons of fertilizer do Land Art and Tru green just to name a couple dump on lawns every year. How much of that ends up in the lake after a heavy rain washes it right into the storm sewers?


Dignitary Member
Staff member
Site Admin
GOOD! My stance on this is no secret. We can point the finger and do the blame game all we want Private vs Company vs Agricultural fertilizer usage and runoff; but the reality is it needs to start with Agriculture. Bobby-Joe homeowner and tru-Green aren't putting near the volume of fertilizer over near the land mass as agriculture and the runoff isn't nearly as prevalent on lawns as it is bare fields because Mr farmer doesn't give a shit refuses to plan a cover crop or leave fencerows intact.


Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
Why do the farmers (or anyone) even have a voice in this? If this is truly an attempt to better the water source, that’s what it should be about.
Likes: Jackalope


Dignitary Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Why do the farmers (or anyone) even have a voice in this? If this is truly an attempt to better the water source, that’s what it should be about.
Exactly. And its not just Ohio watersheds. We now have the worlds largest dead zone in the Gulf thanks to nitrate run off coming down the Mississippi. 8,700 square miles of hypoxic water that can't support marine life.