Fall Successes

Posted by Evan Smith, OSM/VISTA

Well we’re into October now and got through a busy September.

the first big event was the

Kentucky Watershed Watch Fall Sampling Event
Cowan Elementary Student sampling Little Cowan
Normally the Fall Watershed Watch event is called the “low-flow” event but this year we had lots of rain and the creeks were higher than usual. In any case, Letcher County volunteers were active with Kentucky River Watershed Watch and Upper Cumberland Watershed Watch.

18 volunteers (including two groups of students) took a total of 46 samples in Letcher County in a single weekend! I think this is a huge success in citizen involvement with water monitoring. For comparison, in 2005, 6 volunteers took a total of 13 samples in Letcher County and in 2004 I don’t know of any… how’s that for improvement?

All 46 sites will be analyzed for nutrients. In addition the 44 Kentucky River Watershed Watch sites will have a full metals sweep run and the 2 Upper Cumberland Watershed Watch will be tested for e. coli

Special thanks for Regina Sizemore & Kathleen Waddles for taking their classes out with them and thanks to John Webb & Stan Sokolowski for acting as runners. And of course thanks to all the volunteers that got out and got the samples.

Once the results are back from the lab it will be possible to get together all the Watershed Watch results for 2006 and we’ll have a year-end recap and longitudinal comparison.

Allen Br. AMD Site photo by Duane Beachey
(AMD site on Allen Br. Crafts Colley. Sampled by Duane Beachey. White percipitate is Aluminum, lab analysis will give exact levels)

then the next weekend we had…

The Letcher Water Booth at Mountain Heritage

At the 2006 Mountain Heritage Festival in Whitesburg, KY the Letcher County: Head of Three Rivers Project had a booth with help from the staff of the Eastern Kentucky Environmental Research Institute. Hundreds of folks came by and we got to have lots of good conversations and meet a lot of great people. The three most popular parts of the booth were

  • EKU’s Stream Table – Kids of all ages loved the Stream Table that modeled erosion patterns and showed how that proper conseration methods such as using trees to stabilize banks can make a huge difference…
  • Giveaways from the Letcher County Conservation District & OSM Clean Streams Program – The Conservation District & OSM were nice enough to donate some toys and little giveaways… The Yo-Yo’s were especially popular around the festival grounds but I noticed that the combs also went quick, so i’m not sure who to crown the winner of best giveaway
  • Big Dip Presentation – Michael Albright & Alice Jones from EK-ERI helped get together a nice display to show some of the results of all the Big Dip sampling that we’ve done and show some of the geographic trends. There were a lot of dots on that map! (917!)time for good old water

I look forward to a beautiful Fall and continuing to wrap up some of the past year’s activity and get ready for a second year…

Posted by Sam

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