Helping to keep it clean and scenic

Sep 15, 2021

To keep it scenic … While this may not be a pretty sight, the work done each year by GRDA crews and others to help remove trash and debris from the waters and banks of the Illinois River help to keep it scenic. So far this year, GRDA crews have removed nearly 53,000 pounds of trash and debris.

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

“We will practice environmental awareness and promote conservation and reclamation of the natural resources under our control.”

From its very creation in 1935, the Grand River Dam Authority was charged with a natural resource stewardship mission. Initially, that included the Grand River watershed. In recent years, it has expanded to include the waters of the scenic Illinois River. In both areas, the above pledge helps to guide those stewardship efforts.

While that may occur in many ways – habitat & fisheries enhancement, water monitoring, public outreach – one very notable way is through cleanup efforts. Around the shores of Grand Lake, GRDA has helped to facilitate many shoreline cleanups and is currently working with many other lake partners in an ongoing “Adopt the Shoreline” program. Meanwhile, down on the scenic Illinois River, the GRDA “float crew” continues to make trash removal and recycling a top priority.

This year alone, GRDA crew members have removed 52,917 pounds of trash from along the Illinois River, including a large amount of recyclable materials. Working out of canoes, the crews floated the river each week, and walked the banks, to remove trash and debris from the edge of Oklahoma’s most scenic waterway. Their efforts, and the efforts of many others who volunteer to keep shorelines and riverbanks clean, are making a positive difference.

Still, there is always more to do and GRDA is committed to doing it. That is the pledge.

GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power electric 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: employees, electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, and efficiency.