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South Shore Foundation Explores Water Quality Topics
January 2002

Expressing their interest in water quality in the Bull Shoals Lake watershed, South Shore Foundation trustees heard two presentations on the topic at their last quarterly meeting in late November. Trustee Phyllis Speer introduced speakers from two Arkansas state government programs.

South Shore Foundation trustees hear about water quality in the Bull Shoals Lake watershed

Philip Osborne, from the state Department of Environmental Quality, talked about Arkansas WET, an acronym for Water Education Team, a school-based program for junior high and senior high school students to understand and value water ecosystems.

Then, Steve Filipek, from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, talked about the volunteer program called Stream Team. Volunteers work under the direction of the Stream Team staff toward the goal of reducing siltation of Arkansas streams. Activities include clean-up, habitat improvement, water quality monitoring and others.

Discussion leaders gave presentations explaining the programs and answered questions from the trustees.

Osborne said the WET aquatic education program includes water quality monitoring, hands-on science, computer communication networking, and interaction of students and teachers with state and national natural resources agencies, private industry and communities. The students -- with their sponsoring teachers -- obtain accurate baseline water quality data in the waters of Arkansas. Participating schools must share their experiences and knowledge with others.

South Shore Foundation is encouraging South Shore area schools to participate in the WET program to help develop an interest among young people in water quality as well as develop interest and skills in science and technology projects. The trustees wish to assist any South Shore area school to initiate or continue a WET project in their schools. Osborne may be contacted through South Shore Trustee Phyllis Speer.

The Stream Team concept extends water quality concerns to the general public. Steve Filipek, who is the state coordinator of the program, said there are 21 individuals and groups in the three counties of Marion, Boone and Baxter who have formed Stream Teams. Each Stream Team adopts a stream to work on - from creeks on private land to rivers. Mini-grants are available for doing aquatic and landscape projects throughout the state.

South Shore Foundation trustees are interested in supporting new or existing Stream Teams, and welcome grant applications. For more information, contact Speer or the northwest Arkansas Stream Team Coordinator, David Evans at Harrison (870-741-5446, ext. 108).

South Shore Foundation is the charitable foundation of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company of Flippin, which awards grants to nonprofit agencies and communities to further the goals of educational advancement, environmental preservation, community betterment and economic development. NATCO President Steven G. Sanders also chairs the board of trustees of the foundation. For more information or to receive a grant application, call 870-453-3333.
 

 
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