From the President

posted Jan 14, 2011, 1:31 PM by Ramandeep Dulku   [ updated Jan 14, 2011, 7:01 PM ]
December 2010
Dear Friends,

 As the New Year approaches it is only appropriate that we at Friends of the Kaw reflect upon our accomplishments in 2010 and give thanks to all FOK supporters that have dedicated their time and money to Protecting and Preserving the Kaw. We thank you for your continued support and hope the New Year finds both you and your family well. As you may or may not be aware, Friends of the Kaw (FOK) was extremely busy this year in the areas of advocacy, education and enforcement. Please take a moment to look over our 2010 accomplishments and goals for 2011 (below.) 

 After years of watching our water quality deteriorate due to high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous, Friends of the Kaw determined in 2010 that we could no longer wait for the State of Kansas to impose numeric water quality standards to protect our streams, rivers and reservoirs. Based on these concerns, Friends of the Kaw sent a letter of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to perform the nondiscretionary duty of imposing numeric water quality criteria for nutrients in the waters of the state of Kansas. Friends of the Kaw believed such action was necessary to protect the health and welfare of the residents of Kansas. It is well documented that excess nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, in our streams, rivers and reservoirs are the primary cause of toxic algal blooms. These algal blooms have been known to kill a variety of water users such fish, cattle, dogs and even humans. As an indicator of how prevalent this problem is in Kansas, Lovewell Reservoir in north central Kansas was closed for several weeks this summer and there were many complaints of foul tasting water in Topeka, Lawrence and Kansas City. Given the severity of the problem, Friends of the Kaw dedicated significant time and resources in 2010 to working with EPA, Kansas Department of Health and Environment and other interested parties in working on a negotiated settlement.

While we are very proud of our accomplishments in 2010, we realize that there is still additional work to be done in 2011 and for that we need your help. Without member donations it is very difficult for us to continue our fight to protect and preserve the Kansas River. As you can imagine, there are powerful lobbies that have lined up against us in our battle to see numeric limits set for nitrogen and phosphorus in Kansas. We need your help if we are going to have a chance at success. In that regard, we ask that you consider making a tax-deductable year end donation to Friends of the Kaw so that we can continue with all our activities. As always we appreciate your continued support and recognize that Friends of the Kaw is only as strong as the passion of our members.

Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

Chad Lamer, President of Friends of the Kaw

P.S.  Check out our Holiday Gift Offer for a complimentary canoe rental for one of FOK's 2011 Educational Float Trips!


Friends of the Kaw's Major Accomplishments for 2010:

  • Complete redevelopment of FOK’s website featuring Google maps by county with GPS referenced photos – see Where You Live and Work and take a virtual tour down the Kaw!
  • Conducted over 16 organized educational floats allowing nearly 350 individuals to experience the Kansas River and surrounding lakes
  • Creation of “Don’t Go with the Flow – Reduce Stormwater Pollution educational material, outreach programs and web pages.
  •  Conducted four workshops for De Soto High School Students, two teacher workshops for Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education and a geocaching/water quality day camp for Johnson County 4-H
  • Creation of informational signage including a Kansas River Access map at both Lawrence and De Soto access ramps
  • Creation of a demonstration rain garden near the De Soto access ramp at RiverFest Park.
  • Educational booths at Earth Day celebrations in Prairie Village, Lawrence, Topeka and Manhattan, plus 27 other exhibits or presentations in the Kaw River Valley including the Kansas City, MO RiverFest over the 4th of July weekend.
  • Organized two cleanups (Linwood and Lawrence)
  • Benefited from River City Cook-Off, Jack Johnson Concert & Foundation, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival and FOK Annual Dinner and Silent Auction.
  • Received a 2010 Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education Excellence Award.
  • Upgraded our email announcements with Vertical Response

Link to my website

FOK's 2011 Goals

  • Complete River Ambassadors outreach program for middle and high school youth.
  • Continue stormwater outreach advocacy
  • Prepare FOK's campaign to deny in-river dredging operations for the 2012 permit renewal process by the Corps of Engineers
  • Complete the Kansas River recreation trail with an access at the Maple Hill Bridge and add informational signage at access ramps
  • Continue educational float trips and outreach with programs and informational booths
  • Make progress on adding numeric nutrient water quality standards that make sense for Kansas
  • Continue to monitor activities on the river and respond to public concerns