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Blue Thumb: Water Watch

Volunteers take and test water samples in an effort to preserve and improve Oklahoma’s creeks and rivers.
Blue Thumb: Water Watch

Blue Thumb: Water Watch

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Blue Thumb

Oklahoma Conservation Commission

Show Details

Show 1544: Blue Thumb: Water Watch
Air Date: November 1, 2015

 

Transcript

Rob McClendon: Well, not all conservation work is done in rural Oklahoma. Our J.D. Rosman takes us to Tulsa to look at a program called Blue Thumb.

J.D. Rosman: Water for drinking, for recreation, for agriculture – streaming forth opportunities for everyone.

Jeri Fleming: Anyone who cares about the outdoors, anyone who cares about water quality, cares about keeping our streams and rivers clean can get involved.

J.D.: Jeri Fleming works with Blue Thumb, a collection of volunteers dedicated to preserving and improving Oklahoma’s creeks and rivers.

Fleming: It’s a service that the citizens of the state of Oklahoma are getting that they’re really not having to pay for, but that’s really providing some valuable information.

J.D.: Volunteers take and test samples for everything from oxygen content to chloride levels. Graham Branin has been volunteering with Blue Thumb for the past 15 years and says caring and claiming ownership for the water around you is vital.

Graham Branin: Oh, yes, I think ownership is critical. Getting that sense that it’s yours, it’s like your own home or it’s part of your family, that’ll definitely impact how you treat it.

J.D.: And Blue Thumb Coordinator Cheryl Cheadle says volunteers have been driving this organization for more than 20 years.

Cheryl Cheadle: Now we have volunteers monitoring from the Panhandle to the swamps in the southeast.

J.D.: She says urban streams face even greater difficulty.

Cheadle: People that live in a watershed, the more impervious surfaces like streets and parking lots, the more well-kept lawns, then it gets kind of obvious that that stream might have more challenges.

Branin: I really feel that it’s my responsibility to do what I can to educate folks and to make sure that I know what’s going on in the creek and try to improve it.

J.D.: Protecting our most pivotal resource because we all need it.

Cheadle: We all live downstream and the same way we hope the folks upstream are taking care of other water bodies, then we want to take care of this water body. Not just for us and not just for the sake of the creek, but for other people who count on it as well.