Several working groups have been formed in support of the Ohio River Basin.
WORKING GROUP OBJECTIVES
1. Enterprise & Infrastructure Working Group
Chaired by Kari Mackenbach of URS Consultants
Link to Alliance Mission and Vision: Much of the infrastructure in the Ohio River Basin has exceeded its design life, while the need for green infrastructure is more relevant than ever before. For every dollar spent on flood risk management projects, approximately six dollars in potential damages have been saved. More commerce is moved on the Ohio River than through the Great Lakes, and equals that transported through the Panama Canal.
Objectives: (1) Apply green solutions to necessary improvement to our existing infrastructure, and (2) work to capitalize on opportunities for new jobs in a growing global industry.
2. Restoration & Protection Working Group
Chaired by John Stark, Ohio Office of The Nature Conservancy
Link to Alliance Mission and Vision: Population growth is driving the continued development of green areas in our watersheds while urban exodus and economic downturn has freed up much of urban areas for reuse. Nearly half of the freshwater fishes and over a third of all mussel species in the U.S. are within the Ohio River Basin. This treasure is at increasing risk from invasive species which cause losses of almost $120 billion annually.
Objectives: (1) Show economic and environmental benefits of the Sustainable Rivers Program, and (2) work together to address the challenges of invasive species.
3. Sustainable Growth & Competitiveness Working Group
Chaired by Dr. Harry Stone of Battelle
Link to Alliance Mission and Vision: The regional economy will undergo major transitions as traditional industries decline and new, more sustainable industries emerge.
Objectives: (1) Develop a better understanding of the value of water resources, and (2) help influence policy toward more holistic approaches for water resources management.
4. Water Management & Availability Working Group
Chaired by John Hoopingarner, Executive Director, Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District
Link to Alliance Mission and Vision: Water quality is often impacted by water quantity and both have far-reaching impacts on health and human safety.
Objectives: (1) Address vulnerabilities such as possible diversion of water out of the Basin, and (2) minimize nitrogen and phosphorous runoff into the Ohio River that is contributing to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.