September 7, 2022. Congressman Womack recently invited EPA Region 6 Administrator, Dr. Earthea Nance, and staff to NWA to visit both the Beaver Lake watershed and Illinois River watershed efforts. Dr. Nance had a full itinerary but started the morning out at Beaver Water District. Lane Crider, CEO for the District spoke on Beaver Lake as our drinking water source and preparing for growth in the region. James McCarty, Environmental Manager for BWD shared their Source Water Protection efforts and partnerships. Becky Roark, Executive Director for Beaver Watershed Alliance presented on the Beaver Lake Watershed Protection Strategy (a 9-element EPA watershed plan) and how they working to reduce sediment within the watershed area through research, technical assistance, landscape-scale programs, and how they are leveraging funding with key partners.
Congressman Womack shared a local success story with the City of Goshen and the use of CPF (Capital Projects Fund) to help the city acquire additional land for the Mill Branch Park Expansion Project. Read more on that here. The meeting wrapped up with notes from Dr. Nance on the current initiatives through EPA and program priorities they were looking to implement.
Several were invited or attended, including the Alliance Executive Board of Director’s Committee, members of Beaver Water District and the District’s Executive Board of Directors, NWA Regional Planning, H2Ozarks, Watershed Conservation Resource Center, Illinois River Watershed Partnership, Benton-Washington Regional Water Authority, Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. John Boozman office staff, Congressman Womack’s staff, and Region 6 staff.
Thank you to Congressman Womack and US EPA Region 6 for the opportunity to share Source Water Protection efforts.