Advisor(s)

Robert Alexander, PhD
Ohio Northern University
Political Science, Social Sciences & Human Interaction
r-alexander@onu.edu

Document Type

Video

Start Date

23-4-2021 9:00 AM

Description

This study answers the question: are the harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie an issue of environmental racism? This question is imperative if there is to be truly fair and equal diversity and representation in environmental policymaking, especially in the state of Ohio. This question is answered by framing the relevant topics using secondary research, conducting interviews with key players in the algal bloom policy, analyzing demographic data from Toledo, Ohio and the Ohio agricultural community, and examining the online content of the four biggest state and non-state actors in the policymaking process. This study finds that the Lake Erie algal blooms can not be classified as a case of environmental racism due to the lack of racial diversity in Toledo and the assumption that all Toledoans were equally affected by the 2014 water crisis. However, this study does find an acute lack of diversity and representation among the major actors and in the policy discussion. Three solutions are posed to solve this problem, being the formation of diverse coalitions, improved representation in the policymaking process, and making “best management practices” mandatory for farmers in the Maumee River Watershed.

Notes

This presentation is part of the Honors Capstone Enhancement Presentation series.

Award

Winner of the School of Social Sciences and Human Interaction Choice Award and the Center for Teacher Education Choice Award

Open Access

Available to all.

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Apr 23rd, 9:00 AM

Breaking the Table: An Analysis of Diversity and Inclusion in Lake Erie Algal Bloom Policy

This study answers the question: are the harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie an issue of environmental racism? This question is imperative if there is to be truly fair and equal diversity and representation in environmental policymaking, especially in the state of Ohio. This question is answered by framing the relevant topics using secondary research, conducting interviews with key players in the algal bloom policy, analyzing demographic data from Toledo, Ohio and the Ohio agricultural community, and examining the online content of the four biggest state and non-state actors in the policymaking process. This study finds that the Lake Erie algal blooms can not be classified as a case of environmental racism due to the lack of racial diversity in Toledo and the assumption that all Toledoans were equally affected by the 2014 water crisis. However, this study does find an acute lack of diversity and representation among the major actors and in the policy discussion. Three solutions are posed to solve this problem, being the formation of diverse coalitions, improved representation in the policymaking process, and making “best management practices” mandatory for farmers in the Maumee River Watershed.