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Enviro-Mich message from Michelle Gesmundo <gesmundm@msue.msu.edu>
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MONDAY, January 18, 1999
Welcome to Conservation E-LINK!   A service of ODNR's Division of Soil and
Water Conservation.

NEWS & INFORMATION

*EPA Groundwater Software Free
"Ground - Water Primer" the new software program developed by EPA and Purdue
University is now available.  The new program is written for a general
audience and includes information on the nature of groundwater and how to
protect it, hydrogeology; drinking water contaminants and health effects.
There is also a list of EPA contacts and hotline numbers.

The program can be used by anyone with a Web browser, with either Windows or
Macintosh systems.  Users may copy and use the program freely without having
to purchase additional copies, but it may not be modified or resold for
profit.

To view or download the program refer to
http://www.epa.gov/seahome/gwprimer.html.  The program is also available
free on diskette, by sending two blank diskettes to: Karen Reshkin (P-19J),
U.S. EPA Region 5, 77 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL. 60604.

*Raising Early Sweet Corn
Plastic mulch could help sweet corn growers in Ohio get a jump on the
market, according to OSU Horticulturist, Mark Bennett.  The mulch -
basically sheets of plastic - traps heat from the sun and warms the soil
underneath faster than normal to the 55 degrees Fahrenheit required for
sweet corn germination.  Soil under the plastic mulch is 2 to 5 degrees
above normal in the mornings and 5 to 12 degrees warmer by mid afternoon.
Under normal weather conditions, this allows growers to harvest sweet corn
10 to 12 days earlier from plantings made in late March in southern Ohio and
into April in the north.  Having sweet corn ready early allows growers to
hit a profitable window before the market is flooded with corn from other
nearby growers or shipped in from other parts of the country.

Like most aspects of farming, there are gambles involved.  If there is a
warm spring, soil temperatures may heat early naturally, and the money spent
on plastic mulch could be wasted.  In fact, if it gets too warm, the
increased heat under the plastic could even damage the corn if the plastic
is not cut.  For this reason, Bennett suggests sweet corn growers use
plastic mulch on only about 10 percent of their acreage - just enough to
supply people who will want to buy corn early.  The rest of their acreage
can be planted at normal dates to supply corn for the rest of the summer.

Mark Bennett will discuss methods and the advantages of raising early sweet
corn at the 1999 Fruit and Vegetable Growers Congress in Toledo at 9:45 a.m.
on Feb. 5.  The congress runs from Wednesday, Feb. 3 through Friday, Feb. 5.


*Cantrell Recognized For Project WET Work
At its recent annual meeting, the Water Management Association of Ohio
(WMAO) presented former Ohio Project WET Coordinator Diane Cantrell with its
1998 Distinguished Service Award.  The award was given to Diane for her
contributions to Ohio Project WET.  Diane served as the state coordinator
for Ohio Project WET for the first three years of the program.
Congratulations Lady Di!

*Soil Survey of Harrison County officially released
Copies of the Soil Survey of Harrison County, Ohio were distributed to those
who braved wintry conditions to attend the official survey release event in
Cadiz recently.  (The book's authors, Linn Roth and Rick Buzard, were unable
to join in the celebration because of road conditions.)  One of the local
officials was pleased with the publication, but asked, "Can this information
be included in our new county GIS, too?"

RESOURCES

*Wade Into Watersheds
This is the name of the new curriculum unit being developed by the folks at
Adopt - A - Watershed.  Wade Into Watersheds is a 4th grade unit with a
focus on water.  Through this unit, students study the effects of geographic
and human influences on water quality.  Students are also encouraged to
perform a series of water quality tests and design restoration projects to
enhance watershed health.  Available in August 1999.

*Public Science Day
The mission of Public Science Day is to increase awareness about the
importance of science education.  The Web gives a boost to that effort with
a look at program participants and on-line resources.  This year's theme:
our changing Earth.  http://www.sln.fi.edu/psd99/index.html

*Wetland Fact Sheets
The U.S. EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW) announced the
release of Wetland Bioassessment Fact Sheets, EPA843-F-98-001.  The Wetlands
Division of (OWOW) developed the 10 fact sheets in response to the
increasing interest among wetland and water quality professionals to develop
sound methods that measure the biological condition of wetlands.  The fact
sheets, as well as other wetland information resources, are available by
calling the EPA Wetlands Information Hotline at 1- 800 - 832 - 7828, or
visit the Wetlands Division homepage at http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/wetlands.

OPPORTUNITIES

*All Ohio Chapter Annual Meeting at the Holiday Inn Worthington
It's not too late to register for the annual meeting of the Soil and Water
Conservation Society's one-and-only chapter in Ohio.  (Non-members are
welcome to attend, of course.)  The registration table will be open for
business at 8:00 a.m. on January 21 and 22, and the first presentation will
begin at 9:00 a.m. on both days.  Thursday's sessions will focus on
conservation at the watershed level and Friday's sessions will focus on
precision farming.

INTERESTING/USEFUL WEBSITES

*WaterShare
Check out the newest "virtual" water conservation website called WaterShare.
It features an interactive section called WaterLearn in which students can
learn the basics of water conservation in natural, urban or agricultural
settings.  In the urban episodes, students (and teachers) tour the home and
yard. At the end of the episode they receive a personalized WaterSaver
certificate.  To supplement this learning experience there are easy-to-use
teacher lesson plans sectioned into elementary, junior high and high school
for a web-based curriculum.  http://www.watershare.usbr.gov

*Disability Information Resources
This website offers an international catalog of Web links.  Resources range
from a "disability etiquette handbook" to an on-line guide for the blind,
and include downloadable software to aid disabled people.  www.dinf.org

CONSERVATION CALENDAR

January 19, 20, 21 - OFSWCD Annual Meeting - Holiday Inn, Columbus
January 21, 22 - All Ohio Chapter of SWCS Annual Meeting - Holiday Inn,
Columbus
January 22 - Association of Ohio Pedologists Annual Meeting - Holiday Inn,
Columbus
January 31 - February 3 - NACD Annual Meeting - San Diego, Calif.
February 17 - Sharing Nature Workshop - Alley Park - Lancaster, OH
February 19 - Sharing Nature Workshop - Otsego Park - Grand Rapids, OH
February 20 - Sharing Nature Workshop - OSU Lima Campus
May 12 -14 - Great Lakes Student Summit - Buffalo, NY

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

*Innovations
Innovators and men of genius have almost always been regarded as fools at
the beginning (and very often at the end) of their careers.  Dostoyevski,
The Idiot, 1868

I say there can be no safety for these States without innovators - without
free tongues, and ears willing to hear the tongues.   Walt Whitman, "To the
States," 1872

The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all
notions with which they are not familiar...Hence innovators...have generally
been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madman.   Aldous Huxley (d.
1963), Proper Studies

LET US HEAR FROM YOU!  If you have comments or suggestions for CONSERVATION
E-LINK! Let us know.  Feel free to e-mail Blaine Gerdes -
stateoff!blaine.gerdes or blaine.gerdes@dnr.state.oh.us or Nelson Strong -
stateoff!nelson.strong or nelson.strong@dnr.state.oh.us or contact your
program specialist.

Next scheduled "Conservation E-Link!"  - February 1



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