As I chose the cover photo for this month's newsletter, I starting humming refrains of "Here Comes the Sun." I'm determined to keep being optimistic during these challenging times and hope you are too. Businesses large and small are whirling from different government and corporate mandates as well as dealing with the ire of some customers being displeased--on all sides of the issues. After watching the 8+ hour Branson City Council meeting online last week, I was reminded of what a challenging time elected officials are going through. I don't envy these folks. Whatever side they come down on: to mandate or not mandate masks in public spaces; there will be a significant portion of the electorate angry with them. I hope we all can continue to encourage policy makers to stand firm for what they deem is in the best interest of their constituents and that they are relying on the best available date as well as actively listening to the public they serve. Here's to hoping this fog of COVID confusion lifts soon. Then it will be the "Silly Season" of a national election. Never a dull moment!
NEW TEAM MEMBER!
We are pleased to announce our new Social Media Director, Charles Riddle! Charles will be responsible for working with me to develop a social media marketing plan, updating our website, coordinating volunteer efforts, and implementing and operating our social media operations. His first day is Monday, July 27th. Charles will also be working to help us to better weave our clean water message together between our 3 companies: Ozarks Water Watch, Ozarks Environmental Services, and Ozarks Clean Water Company. This is a key addition for us, as we navigate our way to the future of better communication and connection of our community with those who love our Ozarks waters! (BTW: I happen to love this photo of him, since he's in a Milwaukee Brewers t-shirt--my hometown! Don't hold that against him, though!) Welcome, Charles!
Lots of opportunities to continue building coalitions in NW Arkansas,
is on the front lines! She's been actively involved in the review/development of Arkansas' Anti-Degredation rule package, in coordination with other environmental groups. She will also be leading teams and staffing a site at our August 15th Secchi Day/Virtual Science Fair. Conversations are starting to gain momentum on potential demonstration projects that will enhance and protect Beaver Lake. Erin will also be working with Charles on videos and other promotional ideas for our social media outreach. She's much more than just a gifted science professional! Thanks, Erin!
Congratulations to one of our founding board members, Johnny Morris, and his team for Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium being voted America's favorite aquarium by readers of the USA TODAY! Add this to the other accolades the projects have received and it's certainly something to celebrate!
What an astounding combination of national treasures on the property in Springfield. If you haven't visited yet, plan to spend the day! It will take you that long to tour the entire group of attractions, and your mind will be transported from the worries of the day!
COTTONMOUTH OR WATERSNAKE?
Yeah, as a relatively new permanent resident to the Ozarks, this is one of many topics I'm not an expert on. You will see a reptilian theme in the newsletter today! I've also been getting to know the usual and customary spiders, (and learning not to run screaming in terror!) I've let my friends from the midwest know that the spiders up there are pikers compared to the Ozarks! A
helpful article in the Springfield paper
if you are interested as I was.
WHAT'S THAT FLOATING IN TANEYCOMO?!
Not gonna kid ya...this one made my heart skip a beat. While at first I envisioned a full size alligator, thankfully, he ended up being smaller and more manageable!
A fun and interesting news bit here.
CONGRESSMAN BILLY LONG SEEKS SAFETY
Not sure if you've all seen the news regarding a difficult crossing on Bull Creek. It's an Army Corps project that the Congressman is using as an example of
needed changes and updates to the construction rules
in order to ensure better safety for all who use the crossings.
WAR EAGLE RIVER: TRANQUIL AND FUN!
The headwaters of the War Eagle begin in southeast Madison County near Red Star in the Boston Mountains. The stream twists and tumbles through Madison and Benton counties. It flows into Beaver Lake downstream from the War Eagle community.
War Eagle's watershed takes in 215,779 acres of mostly rural land, including 468 miles of streams and 664 miles or roads, according to Beaver Watershed Alliance figures. And the bait to use is a small Rebel Wee R Crawdad crank bait!
Just another reminder for our Secchi Day/Virtual Science Fair. Secchi Day is named for the Secchi Disk, a black and white device lowered into the water to measure clarity. Volunteers with boats help us gather samples that day. This takes about 20-30 minutes, but there's travel time involved depending on where your sample point is located. This year's Secchi Day, in coordination with Beaver Water District and LOTS of other partners, is scheduled for August 15th. If you'd like to volunteer your time to measure water clarity, please contact
Also we're doing something different (yes, due to COVID!) that should be pretty cool. We and our partners will be submitting videos for people to enjoy in order to support the Science Fair portion of the day, which will now be virtual. Stay tuned and we'll share our video with you in our next newsletter!