Protecting water for people and nature; moving toward a more sustainable future for Oklahoma.

Winter Wildlife on the Illinois River

While recreationists are away, wildlife will play!


Natural Beauty Flows Freely in the Blue River

One of only two free-flowing rivers in Oklahoma!


Story Highlights

Today, global demands for food, energy and shelter are putting unprecedented pressure on the resources of the planet. Water is at the heart of this crisis.

The Nature Conservancy believes that strong alternatives exist. A sustainable, cost-effective and multi-benefit water system will need to integrate traditional engineered infrastructure with solutions rooted in nature. Nature is not only the ultimate source of all freshwater, but it also provides a rich portfolio of services, such as keeping water clean for drinking, industrial use, irrigation and recreation.

With the launch of Oklahoma’s new Statewide Freshwater Conservation Program, we are focused on leveraging our freshwater expertise to fundamentally change how the state manages its water resources – bending the curve toward a blend of solutions that value the role nature plays in maintaining its own ecosystems, for the benefit of people and other species as well.

For example, we work to benefit the health of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer through collaboration, restoration, recharge, and protection. This exciting project involves various organizations working together to ensure the future of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer for nature and people.

Additionally, we've implemented aquatic monitoring plans at Oklahoma’s five primary preserves: Four Canyon, J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife, Tallgrass Prairie, Oka’Yanahli and Pontotoc Ridge. Kimberly Elkin, Freshwater Conservation Programs Director has been collecting aquatic data on the biology, water quality, hydrology, geomorphology, and connectivity of water resources on the preserves. This data will be utilized to develop environmental flow recommendations for streams and rivers on the preserves.

The Statewide Freshwater Program is critical for a comprehensive approach to conservation and we look forward to utilizing the data collected to improve sustainability in our great state!

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