Dr. Charles Somerville, dean of the College of Science at Marshall, is attending joint meetings of Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research & Education (ORBCRE) and the Ohio River Basin Alliance (ORBA) Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 2-4, at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
ORBCRE is a consortium of colleges and universities with interests in water resource management, environmental sciences and environmental engineering. ORBA is an alliance of organizations and individuals that depend on, and work with, the water resources in the region. ORBA serves as a forum for basin stakeholders, and works to optimize resource management across eight strategic goals: abundant clean water, healthy ecosystems, vibrant economies, flood protection and risk reduction, efficient and sustainable marine navigation, world-class recreation, knowledge-informed decision making, and adaptation to changing environmental conditions.
Somerville is chair of the ORBA Steering Committee, and at this week’s joint meetings, attendees will work on a strategic plan for the Ohio River Basin. Under the guidance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District, participants will provide feedback on actions that have been proposed to address the strategic goals. Participants will also have an opportunity to propose additional steps to be taken, and will vote on those actions that they feel are most likely to help reach the basin goals. The basin-wide plan will be released in mid-2020.
“The Strategic Plan for the Ohio River Basin will be the outcome of a year-long process funded through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Planning Assistance to States program, with matching funds from the State of Kentucky, and in partnership with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO),” Somerville said. “This is an exciting opportunity for conference attendees to participate in a process that has the potential to dramatically benefit the region for many years to come.”
Somerville will serve as the moderator for discussion sessions on healthy ecosystems, abundant clean water, marine transportation, and adaptation to changing conditions. He will serve as the facilitator for the session on knowledge-informed decision-making.