CFAES’ new Water Quality Initiative—developed over the past year-plus by a task force appointed by CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress—is now up and running.
A director has been hired to coordinate efforts: Heather Raymond, a national leader on policies and responses regarding harmful algal blooms, started Sept. 1. “I’m so excited to be joining such an amazing team,” she said in the press release announcing her appointment (go.osu.edu/wqidirector).
Six new county OSU Extension associates are being hired to work specifically on water quality. They’ll team with Raymond, CFAES scientists, Extension educators, and other staff to help decipher relevant research findings into practical guidance and recommendations centered around improving water quality.
A broad new Water Quality Consortium is being created. Its members will include existing groups working on water quality issues, and researchers and practitioners from within and outside of CFAES and Ohio State. Its goals will include fostering collaborative research and information-sharing, and providing a unified voice on water quality.
With multiple water-quality challenges facing Ohio, the new initiative “needs to be done,” said Gary Pierzynski, CFAES associate dean for research and graduate education. “As the cornerstone college at Ohio State, it’s our duty to serve the public—to have an impact out in the state, to help societal issues,” he said.