To the Editor:
In these days with environmental degradation and threats to clean water, there is something people can do in their own community to help protect our freshwater rivers, streams and lakes, and our precious groundwater and drinking water sources.
Water can be polluted by human sewage, agricultural and livestock runoff and soil erosion/sedimentation, and lately we are faced with oil-and-gas waste-disposal wells in Athens County and Ohio at large, that are injecting toxic and hazardous flow-back wastewater from shale gas hydraulic fracturing drilling operations (fracking). Much of this waste comes from out of state. If you care about clean water and a healthy environment, then please attend the Sierra Club Water Sentinel Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
Water Sentinels are trained to conduct water-quality monitoring in their local communities. The Ohio Sierra Club Clean Water Campaign, coordinated by the Ohio Sierra Club and the local Appalachia Ohio Sierra Club and funded by Aveda Salons, provides water-testing kits, training and sample analysis to people and groups who care about clean water. If you become a Water Sentinel, you will be in a network of citizen scientists testing rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, springs and well water throughout Ohio. Sentinels report the water quality data they collect with a simple online form or they can mail it through snail mail.
The Feb. 26 meeting will be held at the Athens Community Center on 701 E. State St. in Athens and will have two parts:
• 6:30-7:30 p.m.: Meeting for people interested in becoming a Water Sentinel.
• 7:30-8:30 p.m.: Meeting for Current Sentinels to strategize monitoring for 2013.
Hope to see you there!
Sierra Club Clean Water Fellow