Langley – Preserving and protecting the Grand River watershed is a responsibility that stretches across many agencies, concerns, and even states. In fact, while the river itself begins and ends inside Oklahoma’s borders, large portions of the watershed rest in Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas.
That is why it is so important to have experts from across the four-state region at the same table when watershed issues are being discussed. On April 26 and 27, the Grand River Dam Authority will host some of those discussions during the 2012 Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees Watershed Conference at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley.
“Because Oklahoma only encompasses approximately 9 percent of the watershed and the majority of Grand Lake’s water supply originates from neighboring states, GRDA cannot face the natural resource challenges alone,” said GRDA Ecosystems Management Director Dr. Darrell Townsend. “That’s why events like the watershed conference are so valuable to our work and to the overall future of the watershed.”
Since the establishment of the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department in 2004, Townsend said the department has worked to develop cooperative relationships that would facilitate communication and efficient utilization of resources across the watershed. Those relationships will all be necessary if GRDA is to accomplish the conservation and restoration goals it has for the watershed.
“GRDA was created in 1935 to be a conservation and reclamation district for the waters of the Grand River,” said Townsend. “Everyday, we are working to maintain GRDA’s reputation as a good steward of the resources under our control. These partnerships help make that all possible.”
This is actually the second time GRDA has hosted a four-state watershed conference. The first one was held in April 2010, in conjunction with the grand opening of the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley.
Conference registration will begin at 9 AM on Thursday, April 26, followed by presentations through 3:30 PM. The Friday, April 27 session will begin at 8:30 AM with the conference set to conclude at 1:30 PM. For more information on the conference, contact the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department at 918 256-0723 or jjaggars@grda.
Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable; electricity serves nearly 500,000 homes in Oklahoma and stretches into 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.
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