Oklahoma’s Blue Thumb Water Quality Education Program will hold a training for new volunteers at the high school in Marlow, February 16 & 17, 2019. Blue Thumb volunteers are citizen scientists who 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 . Anyone above middle school age with an interest learning about stream quality can register at . 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 complements current efforts in the Little Beaver Creek watershed, an important tributary to Beaver Creek, which is the main water source for Waurika Lake. Waurika Lake provides water to a number of communities in the area. Local conservation districts, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission are partnering with landowners through the National Water Quality Initiative to reduce sediment and bacteria in Little Beaver Creek. The Blue Thumb Program offers an excellent 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.
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.”
Citizens can learn more at the Blue Thumb website. Questions can be addressed to Blue Thumb’s Becky Zawalski at 405-761-7401.