Your chance to be a “citizen scientist” is coming to Marlow High School for a weekend workshop.
Blue Thumb Water Quality Education Program provides training and information to those who wish to volunteer to monitor local streams and educate the public about pollution prevention.
“The program has a long history and began with stream monitoring in the Tulsa area in 1993,” stated the press release. “Anyone above middle school age with an interest in learning about stream quality can register.”
There will be two days, Feb. 16 and 17, of workshops hosted at Marlow High.
There is separate registration for both days and a small material fee.
The first day is the “Stream Ecology Education” workshop which can be a stand alone class. However, the second day “Stream Monitoring” requires the first class.
According to the release, High School science teachers and their students routinely participate, as well as local landowners, 4-H clubs, FFA chapters and “others with an interest in clean water.”
This training is for groups to help monitor a local waterway. Little Beaver Creek is part of the Little Beaver Watershed, which feeds into Waurika Lake, part of the drinking water for at least seven municipalities. Lawton, Duncan and Comanche own the largest percentages of the lake of the seven.
Dana Davis, District Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), told the Duncan Banner in 2015 that Little Beaver Creek was on a 303(d) watch list as part of the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).
“Little Beaver Creek is on a watch list, where the water that is in it is contaminated, it does not meet water quality standards, so we have to do something to improve that water,” she said previously. The main culprit was E. Coli. Blue Thumb volunteer coordinator Cheryl Cheadle said “Blue Thumb has volunteers all over the state, and we are really excited to pull in new volunteers to help us in the Little Beaver Creek watershed.” Cheadle added “We have ideas about additional areas in the SW where we would like to see monitoring take place too.”
The Blue Thumb Program offers an opportunity to help educate local citizens about this and other efforts in “nonpoint source” pollution management, while providing them the chance to help be a part of documenting the project’s effects on water quality through stream monitoring.
Register for training at bluethumbok.com.
For more information contact Blue Thumb’s Becky Zawalski at 405-761-7401.