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Lake Erie Center director to discuss Maumee Bay problems, solutions

Local artists and researchers have come together to celebrate the nearby ecosystems in Maumee Bay and promote awareness about preserving them.

Dr. Carol Stepien, shown here accepting the 2011 Ohio Lake Erie Award presented last fall to the UT Lake Erie Center for its conservation efforts, will give a talk Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Owens Community College.

“Maumee Bay,” an exhibit that includes more than 20 works of art, including pieces from Barbra Miner, UT associate professor of art, is on display in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Walter E. Terhune Gallery at Owens Community College. The artworks include photography, ceramics and mixed media about the bay’s ecosystem.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Dr. Carol Stepien, director of the UT Lake Erie Center, will give a free, public talk at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, in the Terhune Gallery. Her talk, “Biology, Problems and Solutions for Maumee Bay: A View From the Lake Erie Center,” will outline the issues of concern in Maumee Bay in regards to sedimentation and agriculture and ways for others to help.

“A main goal of the UT Lake Erie Center is to build public awareness of the increasing severe pollution and sedimentation issues in the Maumee Bay,” Stepien said. “Over the last 10 years, the water quality and environmental conditions of western Lake Erie have steadily declined to the point that we are at a crisis.”

According to Stepien, the American public feels a disconnect with science and the environment and are unsure of ways in which they can help.

“The ‘Maumee Bay’ art exhibit provides a tangible way for the public to blend both art and science in one setting,” she said. “The blending of the two can help people see other perspectives and help them become aware of positive actions to take.”

“Maumee Bay” can be seen through Friday, Feb. 10; gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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