Environmental Technology students meet with the Ohio EPA

October 27, 2010

On October 6th, three Environmental Technology students were invited to take part in an event promoting the protection and restoration along the Olentangy River in Delaware with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

During the event, Ted, Sam, and Carleigh witnessed electro fishing, a technique used to collect and analyze different species of fish present in the river.  Ohio EPA researchers were also collecting aquatic insects.  Students had an opportunity to speak with several representatives in the local and state environmental agencies about their role in the river restoration project. These agencies included the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Wildlife Center, and the National Environmental Protection Agency.

Students also spoke to Ohio EPA representatives about internship opportunities while in college.  These internships are a direct correlation to the work they are currently studying in Environmental Technology at Delaware Area Career Center. 

The even focused on the effect of lowhead dams and the importance of removing these dams. Ohio EPA, in conjunction with local, state and federal partners has worked to remove many lowhead dams in Ohio.  Several of the dam removals have occurred in Delaware County.  The Ohio EPA has conducted biological testing to measure the health of stream life and monitor the progress of aquatic habitat along the Olentangy River. 

By removing the dams, the Ohio EPA has collected data indicating an improvement in water quality, fish species, aquatic insects, and biodiversity. 

Ted Nelson, Westerville Central Senior, and DACC Environmental Tech student is not a stranger to the Olentangy River.  As a fisherman, he was aware of the dam removal project.  After attending the Ohio EPA event, Ted commented, “I now realize the impact of removing lowhead dams and the positive effect that it has on the environment.  Beforehand, I did not understand the purpose of removing the dams along the Olentangy River.  I am glad to see the aquatic life and stream flow is improving.”