The name of the game for 2020 is "flexibility." Obviously it isn't possible to "virtually" clean up a shoreline, so we had to be creative AND safe!
We've combined all 3 lake cleanups into two fun weekends this year. October 2-4th and the 9-11th
are the weekends that friends and families will head out onto Table Rock, Taneycomo, and Bulls Shoals Lakes. They'll be doing their part to help keep our Ozarks waters clean! We're asking volunteers to provide their own gloves, masks, and trash bags this year to help decrease the need for person to person interactions. However we have some if they're needed. To encourage even more participation, we're having a drawing for a Weber Smokey Mountain vertical smoker! This prize package is worth nearly $500!
How to win? Take pics/short videos of your clean up activities, post it to your social media with the hashtag #weloveozarkslakes and you're in!
We're so thankful for our many sponsors! Table Rock Marina Association and Liberty Utilities are our main sponsors this year. Please thank them for their support!
Speaking of flexibility, we're soon to launch the first stakeholder/technical advisory group meetings in later October for the Lake Taneycomo Watershed Management Plan project. We've assembled a wide array of elected leaders, municipal reps, business and riparian owners to participate in this effort that is being led by Dr. Robert Pavlowsky from MSU.
Purpose of the plan: to develop a nonpoint source watershed plan that will outline goals to address water quality standards deficiencies. Additionally we'll be working with the researchers to develop a demonstration project that will support solutions to our challenges. Silting, erosion, and nutrient loading are the concerns that seem to top the list. Our stakeholder advisory group members will make sure we hear them all.
Our first meeting looks to be October 23rd, (here comes the flexibility part!), and although it'll be challenging, looks like Zoom is the avenue through which we'll work--for now! Project will be going on through 2021. We'll keep you posted!
Erin Scott represented our OWW
during the recent Virtual Science Fair/Secchi Day event on August 15th. Along with dozens of partners, we were able to be flexible, (there's that word again!), and safe while still engaging the youth and an engaged community in water quality.
She got an early and fresh start to her morning to participate on Beaver Lake. Secchi Day is hosted by Beaver Water District each year to engage with the public and collect water samples at many locations throughout the lake on a single day.
Secchi Day is named for the Secchi disk, which is a round black and white disc that is used to evaluate water clarity. Erin met with volunteers to distribute supplies from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers boat ramp at Hickory Creek. Volunteers traveled to their respective sampling locations using their own boats to collect water samples and take Secchi readings. After volunteers dropped off samples and supplies, Erin delivered them to the water quality lab at Beaver Water District. At the lab, samples were analyzed for nutrients and chlorophyll, a compound found in algae that can be used to estimate how much algae is growing in the water. These data will be used to evaluate trends in water quality throughout Beaver Lake.
"It was a truly beautiful morning and I was glad to have a reason to get up and out to the lake," says Erin. "It was lovely to watch families and friends take off on the water to enjoy the day on Beaver Lake."
Secchi Day is usually a huge event that includes a Science Fair at the Prairie Creek Recreation Area and draws in hundreds of people. Due to COVID-19, the science fair went virtual this year.
There are encouraging signs of a renewed interest in the importance of well-run septic systems and their relationship with drinking/surface waters in Arkansas. Failing systems negatively impact groundwater and sometimes surface waters. We have challenging geology in the Ozarks, with very little ground cover of soil to help filter contaminants. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to build relationships with members of the greater community, academia, and regulators in Arkansas. Lots of encouraging signs!
A FUN, END-OF-SEASON READ!
I was sent this collection of short stories that included delightful moments of rushing adrenaline and quiet introspection amidst our abundant natural resources from Dr. Mark Morgan. Mark is with MU and works in the School of Natural Resources. I found myself smiling as I relived many of my own experiences in the woods of Wisconsin chasing game, gobbling for turkeys, and impatiently hoping for a trout to fall for the fly on the end of my line! Outdoor enthusiasts know that the love of conservation knows no geographical boundaries. We are truly blessed to have so many outdoor opportunities in the Ozarks. If you're interested, invest $14.95 (includes postage) and send Dr. Morgan an email
or visit Ozarkland's website
(there's lots of other fun stuff on there too!)