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May 2010
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Remote Sensing for Non-point Pollution

At the April meeting of the Portage River Basin Council, Dr. Robert K. Vincent, Professor in the Department of Geology at Bowling Green State University, made a presentation about satellite remote sensing. The procedure he developed helps to detect the presence of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and E.coli in water and total phosphates on land and water.

This technology could help identify segments of the Portage River with the highest concentrations of non-point source pollution. Remote sensing has the potential of being a cost-effective option to time consuming sampling and monitoring. The council and the Portage River Coordinator are researching the costs of using Dr. Vincent’s technology and looking for a grant opportunity that would allow them to gather this important data. Non-point source pollution is that which cannot be traced to a discharge from a business or industry but is more diffuse, such as agricultural runoff.

Additional information about Dr. Vincent’s work can be found at www.bluewatersatellite.com/index.html. Click on the blue link “See Satellite Images” for a view of satellite applications.


Leadership of the Portage River Basin Council (PRBC) met with Dr. Vincent. From left: Jim Sass, vice president of Ottawa County commissioners and vice chair PRBC; Dr. Robert K. Vincent, professor at Bowling Green State University; and Gordon Bowman, president of council Village of Pemberville and chair PRBC.


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