Oklahoma is a National Leader in Documented Water Quality Success Stories – Project Details
On Wednesday, April 13, 2011, during Agriculture Day at the Capitol, leaders from Oklahoma’s Conservation Partnership held a press conference to announce newly-documented water quality success stories and the state’s position as a national leader in water quality improvement.
Cooper Creek – Central Oklahoma
- Wheat, cattle, and corn production
- Listed in 2006 for turbidity and low dissolved oxygen
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Local Emphasis Area Project, Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and state conservation cost-share programs invested more than $590,000 to install BMPs including no-till, strip till, crop rotation, investments in contour farming, prescribed grazing, nutrient management, alternative water supplies, and brush and weed management.
- Significant water quality improvements have resulted in Cooper Creek’s removal from Oklahoma’s proposed 2010 l 303(d) list for turbidity and dissolved oxygen
Bull Creek – Northeast Oklahoma
- Wheat, corn, cattle and poultry production
- Listed in 2002 for turbidity and bacteria
- EQIP, CSP, and state cost-share invested more than $300,000 focused on grazing land improvements including prescribed grazing, nutrient management, fencing, brush and pest management, terraces, conservation crop rotation and residue and tillage management.
- Water quality improvements resulted in Bull Creek’s removal from the 2010 303(d) list for turbidity and E. coli bacteria.
Cloud Creek – Eastern Oklahoma
- Wheat, corn, cattle, and poultry production
- Listed in 2006 for turbidity
- State cost share, EQIP, Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) and general conservation technical assistance invested more than $230,000 in conservation practices including prescribed grazing, crop rotation, cross fencing, conservation tillage, forage planting, wildlife habitat planting and waste utilization.
- Water quality significantly improvements resulted in Cloud Creek’s removal from the 2010 303(d) list.
Dugout Creek – Central Oklahoma
- Cattle and wheat production, as well as some dairy and poultry contributed to listing Dugout Creek on the 2004 303(d) list for turbidity
- Landowners took advantage of EQIP and state conservation programs to invest more than $450,000 in BMPs such as prescribed grazing, rangeland planting, mulch tillage, and brush management.
- Significant water quality improvements resulted in Dugout Creek being removed from the 2010 303(d) list for turbidity
Dirty and Elk Creeks (2) – Eastern Oklahoma
- Cattle and crop production
- Listed for turbidity in 2006
- EQIP, GLC, state cost-share, and general technical assistance led to more than $840,000 worth of BMPs including prescribed grazing, brush management, conservation tillage, grade stabilization, and wetland and wildlife habitat management.
- Significant water quality improvements for both creeks resulted in their delisting from the 2010 303(d) list for turbidity.
Mission Creek – Northeast Oklahoma
- Wheat, cattle, and corn production
- Listed on 2004 303(d) list for turbidity
- $780,000 worth of Conservation through EQIP, NRCS technical assistance, and state cost-share focused on prescribed grazing, pasture and hayland planting, wildlife habitat management, brush management, and no-till.
- Water quality significantly improvements resulted in Mission Creek being removed from the 2010 303(d) list.
Little Wewoka Creek – Central Oklahoma
- Cattle, hog, and wheat production
- Stream listed in 1998 for suspended solids and turbidity
- An EQIP Local Area Emphasis Project, along with state cost-share programs resulted in more than $900,000 worth of improved grazing land quality through prescribed grazing, pasture planting, crop rotations, heavy use area protection and similar BMPs.
- Water quality improved and the 20 mile segment of stream has remained off the 303(d) list for turbidity since 2006. Little Wewoka was recently removed from the 303(d) for dissolved oxygen.
Beaty Creek – Northeast Oklahoma
- Poultry and cattle producing watershed in northeastern OK and northwestern AR
- Land users implemented more than $1.3 million worth of EPA 319 and state funded best management practices (BMPs) focused on reducing impacts of animal waste.
- Continuous sampling verified a 66 percent decrease in phosphorus loading (as measured in the stream) and removal from Oklahoma’s 303(d) list for E. coli bacteria.
California Creek – Northeast Oklahoma
- Grassland– primarily cow-calf production
- EQIP, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Grassland Reserve Program (GRP), Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), state conservation programs, and local landowners invested more than $1 million in prescribed grazing, pasture and hayland planting, cross fencing, pond construction, nutrient management, and invasive weed control. Cropland practices implemented included conservation tillage, crop rotation, grassed waterways and terraces.
- As a result, average water clarity increased and California Creek was delisted from the 303(d) list for turbidity in 2008.
Lake Creek- Central Oklahoma
- Intensive cropland production – wheat, peanuts, cotton, alfalfa, and other small grains
- Fish communities impaired by pesticides and fungicides detected in surface and groundwater.
- Targeted education programs and improved pesticide management led to significant reductions in detectable quantities of pesticides.
- Fish communities improved significantly and the stream was removed from the list for toxicity.
Little Elk Creek- Southwest Oklahoma
- E. coli bacteria and low dissolved oxygen put Little Elk Creek on the 303(d) list in 2002.
- An EQIP Local Emphasis Area project, CRP, standard EQIP, and state cost-share programs installed more than $465,000 worth of BMPs such as conservation tillage, cropland conversion, contour farming, range management, and prescribed grazing in the watershed.
- Water quality monitoring documented significantly improved conditions and the stream was removed from Oklahoma’s 2008 303(d) list for bacteria, dissolved oxygen and oil and grease.
Sandy and Yellowstone Creeks- North Central Oklahoma
- Wheat, alfalfa, and cattle production
- Impaired by excess turbidity
- Intensive conservation education programs led to increases in conservation tillage (21 percent), soil test-based fertilizer applications (29 percent) and buffer usage.
- Water clarity improved in both streams. Sandy Creek was delisted from the 303(d) list in 2004 and Yellowstone Creek in 2006.
Wolf Creek- Northwest Oklahoma
- Wheat, cattle, & hog production
- Listed in 2002 for turbidity
- EQIP Local Emphasis Area Project, CRP, GRP, WHIP, state cost-share and extensive nonpoint source water quality community education led to more than $1 million invested in conservation practices- 54,000 acres of pasture and 87,000 acres of rangeland improvement, nutrient management (90,350 acres), 6,467 acres of critical area planting, 58,087 new acres conservation tillage, 67 miles cross fencing, and numerous other practices
- Water clarity improved significantly, and the stream has remained off the list since 2006.
Peacheater Creek- Northeast Oklahoma
- Poultry and cattle production
- Downstream Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller listed for phosphorus
- EPA and NRCS invested more than $800,000 to implement BMPs including riparian protection, animal waste management, pasture improvement and septic replacement.
- Results included 71 percent reduction in phosphorus loading and 58 percent reduction in nitrogen, improved fish communities, and measured decreases in streambank erosion.