April 6 Lunch and Learn: Using wetland systems to sustainably remove excess phosphorus and nitrogen from landscapes

On Friday April 6, join Dr. Bill Mitsch for a lunch and learn presentation from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Ridges, Bldg. 21, Room 105.

Today, the world faces unprecedented threats to our aquatic ecosystems from excessive nutrients. Most of these nutrients are introduced to aquatic ecosystems through agricultural and urban runoff. More than 750 aquatic ecosystems currently suffer from degraded ecosystem services and impairments including oxygen deficiency or hypoxia, dead zones, and harmful algal blooms; these stresses are mostly caused by excessive nitrogen and phosphorus pollution.

It has also been estimated that, on a global scale, the world has lost half of its original wetlands, with most of that loss in the 20th century.

Dr. Mitsch’s presentation will focus on the ways an increase in wetland resources around the world can be used to solve the diminishing wetland problem, with the strategic purpose of mitigating excess phosphorous and nitrogen in a sustainable fashion.

Examples of this process include minimizing phosphorus inflows to the Florida Everglades and Lake Erie and reducing nitrogen fluxes by wetlands and riparian forests in Midwestern USA to reduce seasonal hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Mitsch will also discuss the opportunities presented by wetlaculture, a new process named in reference to the words wetland and agriculture. This process will enable the removal of excess nutrients from aquatic ecosystems and return them directly to growing crops. Wetlaculture has the dual benefit of improving water quality and lessening the need for fertilizers as fertilizer runoff is effectively recycled.

Dr. Mitsch is eminent scholar and director for the Everglades Wetland Research Park and Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration, Florida Gulf Coast University in Naples, Florida. He is professor emeritus of environmental science and founding director of the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park at The Ohio State University. He was editor-in-chief of Ecological Engineering journal for 25 years after founding it in 1992. He was awarded the 2004 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate bestowed by the King of Sweden and the 2010 Einstein Professor from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He completed the fifth edition of his standard textbook, “Wetlands” in 2015. He has guided 78 graduate students through thesis or dissertation, 55 of which were at The Ohio State University during his 26-year career there.

Pizza will be provided at the presentation, but participants should bring their own water bottles, as this is a zero waste event. For additional information about the series, contact Joe Wakeman, manager of enrollment and student success, at wakemanj@ohio.edu or 740.593.2133.

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One thought on “April 6 Lunch and Learn: Using wetland systems to sustainably remove excess phosphorus and nitrogen from landscapes

  1. Pingback: Lunch and Learn March 30: Disasters in Field Research | Voinovich School Blog

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