Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority.
The Grand River Dam Authority and the Allen Lab at the University of Oklahoma co-hosted the 2020 Great Plains Limnology Conference earlier this month.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented the event from being held at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center as originally planned, however organizers did move forward with a virtual conference. Spread across four days, the conference drew academic and government agency scientists from nine states and three countries to focus on research involving aquatic ecosystems across the Great Plains. Presentations covered topics such as fish ecology, nutrient cycling, mine contamination, harmful algal blooms and more.
Baylor University’s Dr. Ryan King served as keynote speaker and opened the conference with a presentation covering his work on the Illinois River, entitled Scenic Rivers, Nuisance Algae, and Interstate Politics: The Oklahoma-Arkansas Joint Phosphorus Study.
Limnology is the study of the biological, chemical, and physical features of lakes and other bodies of fresh water. GRDA established its Ecosystems & Watershed Management Department in 2004 to oversee the stewardship efforts over the natural resources under control, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the scenic Illinois River. The department spearheads efforts to balance the needs of all water users, including fish and waterfowl, while also working to protect and enhance ecosystems.
GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: employees, electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, and efficiency.