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As you are well aware, issues surrounding water quality impact every constituent that we serve whether they are individuals, industries, academic institutions, municipalities, counties, or states.  Understanding these issues and responding appropriately requires a sound understanding of basic scientific and economic impacts of our individual and collective actions as citizens and/or public officials on water quality. 
 
The 4-state region of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri is not alone in facing the challenges of multi-state watershed boundaries, urban and rural interfaces, population growth, and rapid economic growth and development.
 
To address water quality challenges we must ask ourselves two critical questions.  What is the best information available for us to use when making water quality decisions?  What lessons can we learn from others around the nation facing similar challenges?  To find answers to these and other key questions, a 4-State Watershed Academy is planned for elected officials, state agency staff and concerned citizens from the 4-state region. 
 
The Watershed Academy will help educate participants about water issues facing our region and what we can do together to address these issues for the benefit of all.  The Academy is an opportunity for elected officials, citizens and government agencies from the four-state region to forth-rightly discuss how we might work together to best achieve a common goal – plentiful, clean water.
 
The Academy is scheduled for September 29 – 30 at the Cherokee Casino Conference Center in West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma.  To view the Academy agenda, click here.  You may register online at www.irwp.org, or fill out the registration form by clicking here.  Call 479-238-4671 for more information. 
 
Your attendance would send a strong message to federal and state agencies and elected officials from around the four-state region on the importance of water quality to our region.  We appreciate your consideration and hope your schedule will allow you to attend the 4-State Watershed Academy.
Sincerely,
Illinois River Watershed Partnership Board Members:
 
Larry Adair, Cherokee Gaming Commission, Oklahoma
Jonathan Barnett, AR House District 97
Dan Douglas, Justice of the Peace, Benton County, AR                    
Judge Marilyn Edwards, Washington County, AR     
Uvalde Lindsey, AR House District 88
Dr. Joshua Payne, Oklahoma State University
Steve Randall, Chair, Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission
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