Division of Water
Happy Birthday, Ollie Otter
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 17, 2006) – Ollie Otter, the Kentucky Water Watch mascot, will be 21 on Earth Day, April 22.
In the years since his “birth,” Ollie has joined in various Water Watch activities to tell residents of the commonwealth, “You otter care about water.”
The Water Watch program was developed by the Kentucky Division of Water as a way to involve citizens and communities in learning about the use and protection of water resources. The otter, which is dependent on clean water, provided a perfect mascot. Water Watch groups across the state “adopt” streams, lakes, wetlands and groundwater.
The program accomplishes its goals of helping to protect the state's waters through volunteer monitoring, community education initiatives and community leadership and action. After participating in basic training programs that cover biological monitoring, visual assessment and chemical testing, as well as recording and reporting procedures, volunteers monitor various aspects of their adopted water bodies. For instance, they perform regular tests for basic water quality standards and relay information and data to the Division of Water.
These groups are also involved in community education programs to help foster basic understanding of environmental issues within their communities.
Find out more about Water Watch and how to become one of Ollie’s Water Watchers at http://www.water.ky.gov/ww/, or contact Ken Cooke, Water Watch coordinator, at (502) 564-3410 or by e-mail at Ken.Cooke@ky.gov.
Kentuckians will join others across the world in celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. Spearheaded by the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, a number of state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations have joined together to celebrate Earth Day in the Commonwealth. Some of these partners have organized environmental activities throughout the month of April while others are providing information and resources on protecting Kentucky’s environment.
This is the third year in a row for a month-long, organized campaign in celebration of Earth Day. Among activities planned are hikes, special events, college campus programs, environmental award presentations and demonstrations of new, environmentally friendly technology. Visit the state Earth Day Web site at www.earthday.ky.gov to learn more about Kentucky's Earth Day celebration.
Ken Cooke and Ollie Otter tell a class about how they “otter care about water.” Division of Water photo, 1990.