2016, CINCINNATI, OH, UNITED STATES
Jared Bulla, Josh Rademacher, Logan Bush, and Justin Zhou of the Summit Country Day School wanted to help alleviate the problem of overabundant chemicals in the Little Miami River. This local river feeds into East Fork Lake, which in recent years has shown an increase in nitrogen and phosphate levels, resulting in algal blooms. The Valley View Foundation is working to create an area of wetlands that would serve as a natural drainage system for wastewater before it went into the Little Miami. The group’s project was then to ensure that the proper floras were planted in the wetlands to maximize the uptake of chemicals by plants.
The boys selected reeds, iris, and cattails as the primary plants due to their winter hardiness and affordability. They are effective in removing excess phosphorus and do well on their own after planting. The implementation of this program would be significant, as it would reduce the number of algal blooms in East Fork Lake. By choosing plants for the wetland that would do the most good, Jared, Josh, Logan, and Justin hope that they will be able to create a noticeable impact in their area.