MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

October 27, 2012

Cleaner Illinois River better for all

— A downward trend in phosphorus levels in the Illinois River is great for ecology and the area’s economy.

Moving in the right direction is not a destination, however.

Those who would protect the Illinois have our thanks, and also our encouragement to continue the fight for clean water, too.

When considering all total phosphorus data collected since 1993, observers found a “significant downward trend” in the Illinois River at Watts and Tahlequah.

Regulators credit improved technology being used at upstream wastewater treatment plants and a greater emphasis on transporting poultry wastes outside the watershed.

The downward trend is great news.

It sounds as if the river is slowly, but surely, being cleaned.

The Illinois River is one of Oklahoma’s treasures.

It is a major tourist attraction in the area.

The river is frequently full of floaters during the summer.

Their vacation plans help fuel the economy in our area.

Tourists who visit the river spend money in our communities.

Beyond the economic issues, there are ecological concerns that are paramount.

Clean water sustains nature and maintains our health.

Every opportunity to help the environment is an opportunity to improve our present and future.

We should not consider ourselves as owners of water as much as stewards of Mother Nature.

We have been given a wonderful resource and we should protect it.

It is a beautiful river that deserves to run clear for our sake and for the sake of our grandchildren.

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