Calling all water fans

IUKA – Delta Datsis wants your calls.
Datsis is organizing volunteers – groups and individuals – to help with Mississippi’s first water clarity monitoring project, called Secchi Dip-In Day, on Aug. 22 at Yellow Creek and Pickwick Lake.
Though this is the first year for Mississippi to participate, each year volunteers all over the United States measure water clarity in 10,000 lakes.
“This will be an annual project, with us getting base readings this year and building on those readings each additional year,” Datsis said.
Boaters and their teams will take readings at 32 predetermined locations on the lake using a 150-year-old instrument called a Secchi Disk, a flat black and white disk lowered into the water on a rope until it disappears.
“What we’re trying to do is teach people how to take care of our water,” Datsis said. “If we take care of the water it will take care of us. Many people are already getting their drinking water from this surface water source, something that will happen more as this area grows.”

Hard work pays off
After taking measurements, volunteers will return to Aqua Yacht Harbor for a free lunch and have time to browse free displays by Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Tishomingo Soil and Water Conservation District, Tennessee Valley Authority, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Mississippi State University Extension Service and others.
“We’ll have a free T-shirt for each volunteer, but everyone needs to register so I’ll be sure to have enough T-shirts,” Datsis said.
Groups like Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, 4-H, science clubs, service clubs and anyone interested in water sampling is welcome, but individuals under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult age 21 or older.
“This is a simple way to know how your water quality is doing,” Datsis said. “Not only will it be a fun day on the water for boaters, it will provide a service and make everyone citizen scientists.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

For more information on Delta Datsis – Call the Tishomingo County Soil and Conservation Service, (662) 423-6272.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal