Committed to keeping it clean

Jan 12, 2021

Along the scenic Illinois River… Since 2016, GRDA crews have removed over 120 tons of trash from along the river as part of its ongoing commitment to stewardship of the natural resources under its control.

Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority.

When the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission (OSRC) merged with the Grand River Dam Authority in 2016, GRDA absorbed the important mission of preserving and protecting the waters of the scenic Illinois River.

In the years since, that mission has been furthered in many ways. There have been improvements to public access areas, enhanced river patrols and water safety initiatives, and an expanded effort to secure riparian easements for the long-term benefit of the watershed. Through it all, the focus on keeping the river clean of trash and debris has also continued on.

In fact, in 2020 the GRDA Scenic River Grounds Crew, along with the Float Crew, worked to collect and remove 66,680 pounds of trash from the Illinois River. It marked the largest collection year since the 2016 merger. Over the last five years, the crew has collected over 120 tons of trash. That included over 4,600 tons of recyclable materials in 2019-20.

Meanwhile around the shores of Grand Lake, GRDA helps to facilitate similar cleanup efforts each year through the Adopt-the-Shoreline Program. The program is designed to enable participants to organize cleanups through shoreline adoption, with assistance and resources provided by GRDA, which also maintains its own shoreline crew. The program is the result of a coordinated effort among GRDA, Grand Lake Power Squadron, Grand Lake Association, “Grow with Grove” Steering Committee and community volunteers.

GRDA remains committed to environmental stewardship of the natural resources under its control. Working to clean up the riverbank and the lakeshore is an important, ongoing part of that effort.

GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.