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Buckeye Beat: February 2020

Buckeye Beat February 2020

Report bald eagle sightings to ODNR here!


[Pat] It's time to talk top news in Ohio. 

Welcome to February's Buckeye Beat. I'm Pat Miller, and I'm here with some of the biggest stories from our state in February. 

State leaders are calling for more action to prevent algal blooms on Lake Erie. An algal bloom is a rapid growth of algae on a body of water. It produces toxins that can be harmful, or even deadly, to both animals and humans. 

Algal blooms are caused when chemicals, such as fertilizers from farms, make their way into the water, like streams and rivers that eventually lead to the lake. State leaders and environmentalists have been calling for a plan to combat Lake Erie's algal blooms for years. 

Last month, they got one step closer. Ohio's Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules that limit the amount of algal-bloom-causing chemicals that can flow into the lake. No limits have been proposed on how much fertilizer the farmers are allowed to used, though. Still, Governor Mike DeWine called on farmers to continue participating in a statewide water quality program. 

Sticking with environmental news, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is asking for your help in finding and counting bald eagles. From February 1st through the end of March, Ohioans can report bald eagle sightings to ODNR's Division of Wildlife. Wildlife officers will then verify that there is a bald eagle's nest in that location. 

Officials say they're attempting to update their database of the national bird for the first time in eight years. Great bald eagle viewing spots include Lake Erie and several Ohio rivers, like the Muskingum, Hocking, and Great Miami. 

Bald eagles usually make their nests this time of year, so if you spot one, be sure to report it to ODNR. We'll put the link you can use to submit them beneath this episode online. 

Remember, it's against the law to disturb a bald eagle's nest, so make sure to respect the bird's space and stay a safe distance away. 

From bald eagles to big cats, check out these adorable cheetahs. They were born at the Columbus Zoo last month. 

According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, cheetahs are considered vulnerable, which means their numbers are dwindling. So, conservationists have been trying to expand the gene pool of cheetahs in human care. 

Biological mom, Kabibi, has genes that are considered valuable to maintaining a strong line of cheetahs. But they're worried that she was too old to give birth, so they implanted her eggs into Izzy, who's a few years younger. Dad, Slash, lives at a zoo in Texas. 

This was the third time scientists ever tried this procedure, known as in vitro fertilization, so the birth was a major feat. 

Speaking of big accomplishments, let's finish February's segment by featuring some fierce females. The first ever girl's state wrestling tournament was held on February 22nd. 

About 260 girls from around the state competed in 14 different weight classes. The tourney was held at Hilliard Davidson High School, near Columbus. 

Girls wrestling isn't an official sport recognized by the Ohio High School Athletic Association yet, but it could very well become one soon, especially after conducting a state tournament. 

Well, that's all I have for this month's Buckeye Beat. 

I'm Pat Miller. Stay tuned in April for more Ohio happenings.