An integrated research and development effort to stamp out HABs
After harmful algal blooms shut down drinking water for two days in Toledo, OH in 2014, a working group of 25 Ohio State faculty convened by the university's Global Water Initiative worked to frame a plan of attack. With priority areas identified by the faculty working group, Bruce McPheron, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, announced that his college would put forward the first $1 million to funding innovative R&D using this new approach. The resulting suite of three projects are led by investigators from four Ohio State colleges and involve researchers from several regional universities. The Global Water Initiative at Ohio State adminsters the program with project management by Ohio Sea Grant and major funding by the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
A closely related effort was commissioned by the Ohio Department of Higher Education following the events in Toledo. Co-chaired by Ohio State and the University of Toledo and coordinated by Ohio Sea Grant, a working group of over 60 water quality experts from Ohio universities and state agencies identified priority investment areas for greatest impact in addressing and preventing HABs in coming years. The resulting suite of projects was initiaited in March 2015 with $2 million from the Ohio Department of Higher Education and over $2 million in matching funds from partner universities including The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green State University, Central State University, University of Toledo, Kent State University, Defiance College and Heidelberg University. The projects are also closely coordinated with the efforts of the Ohio Enviromental Protection Agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Department of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Geological Survey.