Enhancement of Environmental Communication in the Lower Great Miami River Basin: A Pilot Demonstration

EPA Grant Number: R827091
Title: Enhancement of Environmental Communication in the Lower Great Miami River Basin: A Pilot Demonstration
Investigators: Hammond, Scott A. , Arnett, Kathy , Arnett, Tony , Bamberger, Mark , Burton, Jr., G. Allen , Casenhiser, David , Pennock, Ned , Winchester, Donna
Current Investigators: Hammond, Scott A.
Institution: Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: November 1, 1998 through October 31, 2000 (Extended to August 28, 2002)
Project Amount: $475,000
RFA: Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Sustainability , Air , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Environmental Statistics


The proposed EMPACT Project will increase the accessibility and understanding of environmental information related to the Great Miami River and its tributaries in the Greater Dayton Metropolitan Area through the development and distribution of a multi-media "RIVER INDEX". The RIVER INDEX will provide understandable, timely information to the public regarding river water quality, flow stage, habitat, and ecosystem health. The Project partners have a long history of collaboration, including participation in the Lower Great Miami Watershed Enhancement Program.


The Monitoring Component of the Project will include collection of water quality data at six key monitoring locations along the Great Miami, Mad, and Stillwater Rivers and Wolf Creek by adding state-of-the-art automated monitoring equipment supplemented with manually collected data to existing river gauge stations. Parameters including river stage, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, turbidity, ammonia, nitrates, and chloride will be monitored automatically at each site. Additional data, including bacteria, PAHs, pesticides, toxicity, aquatic habitat and litter will also be periodically collected manually. All the data
will be transmitted into a database developed in the Information Management Component. The
database will store and manage the monitoring data that will be used to calculate the RIVER INDEX.

Several metrics of categorized data ranging from "poor" to "excellent" will be used to describe river quality conditions. A Scientific Peer Review Panel of water quality experts will help assure the data category definitions and approach will be scientifically valid and transferrable to other localities. A web site will be developed to publish the RIVER INDEX and allow public access to the monitoring data. The Communication Component will establish a mechanism beyond the web site to disseminate the RIVER INDEX to the public in a timely manner. A clear and understandable graphical format will be developed with assistance from local media professionals so that informed choices can be made on how the river corridors will be utilized for bicycling, canoeing, fishing, and the other experiences. Pre- and post-surveys of the public will be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the RIVER INDEX and its ability to clearly communicate information about the quality of the rivers.

Expected Results:

This Project leverages existing resources and strengthens existing partnerships in the Dayton Area. A wide array of organizations are lending support to this proposal. At this time several riverfront developments are being proposed, which will be enhanced by the improved awareness and perception of the waterways in the Area. Citizens will have more knowledge to make informed river use choices, which may increase usage of the rivers and corridor amenities and foster a sense of ownership and protection about the rivers. Long-term water quality data generated by the Project can be used to measure cleanup efforts, and the RIVER INDEX will provide a pilot program that will be transferable to other locations by generating scientific consensus on reporting water quality to the public through the Scientific Peer Review Panel.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 5 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

EMPACT, watershed, monitoring, Midwest., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Environmental Chemistry, pesticides, State, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Monitoring/Modeling, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecological Indicators, EMPACT, ecological exposure, monitoring, aquatic ecosystem, environmental monitoring, watersheds, community-based approach, monitoring stations, bacteria monitoring, river systems, environmental information, human exposue, time-relevant monitoring, flow stage, Ohio (OH), biomonitoring, recreational water, web site development, community outreach, ecosystem health, water quality

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001
  • Final Report