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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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12/6/2012 2:27:00 PM
Oak Creek Watershed Council named non-profit of the year

SEDONA -- The Oak Creek Watershed Council was awarded Nonprofit of the Year by the Sedona Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Arizona Community Foundation, at the Spirit of Sedona 2012 Awards celebration.

The award was presented by Stephanie Giesbrecht, member of the Advisory Board, who noted the importance of Oak Creek as a major tributary of the Verde River contributing as much as half of its volume at the confluence of both water courses.

In receiving the award on behalf of the Oak Creek Watershed Council, Barry Allan, Executive Director, thanked the Sedona Community Foundation for its generosity. "We are also very grateful that this award has focused the spotlight on our watershed environment and the integrity of Oak Creek," said Allan.

"Oak Creek cannot continue to sustain the impact of hundreds of thousands of visitors every year without there being a change in behavior and attitude towards the diminishing quality of its water. If we are to become a truly vibrant community and meet the challenge of sustainable tourism then our Verde Valley civic leaders must work together and take into full account the current and future economic, social and environmental impacts of tourism while addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and our watershed communities."

The OCWC recently completed the Oak Creek Watershed Improvement Plan (OCWIP). Funded by a grant from ADEQ and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the OCWIP identifies problems associated with the impairment of Oak Creek by the fecal coliform Escherichia coli (E. coli), as well as solutions to those problems.

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