The Ottawa Tribe and Peoria Tribe, both of Northeastern Oklahoma, have been awarded grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to test surface water on their tribal lands, according to the Joplin Globe.
The tribes have been conducting water quality testing for almost 10 years, but this sampling will yield data that will be used to determine if a more robust watershed management program is needed in the area.
The two tribes will test for heavy metals, E. coli, nitrogen and phosphorus. Historical mining took place in the area for nearly a century and agricultural activities there could contribute chemicals to runoff.
A project officer with the EPA says the test sites will include parts of the Spring River, Neosho River, Little Elm Creek and Tar Creek. A grant of $120,000 will go to the Ottawa Tribe and the Peoria Tribe will receive $118,000.
Image: The Spring River is among the streams that will be monitored under the grant (Credit: Thomas & Dianne Jones, via Flickr)