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Press Release
September 25, 2015

Smithee Named to Oklahoma Scenic River Hall of Fame

Derek Smithee, Chief of Oklahoma Water Resources Board's (OWRB) Water Quality Division, will be inducted into the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Hall of Fame on Sept. 26 during the annual membership meeting of Save the Illinois River, Inc (STIR).

Smithee's fellow inductees include Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry, noted Oklahoma conservation photographer Kimberly Baker. The inductees will be recognized for their ongoing commitment to protect and preserve the Illinois River, its tributaries, and Lake Tenkiller.

"It's an honor to be chosen to the Scenic River Hall of Fame by STIR. I appreciate the hard-work and dedication that their organization brings to the issues facing water quality in the eastern portion of Oklahoma," said Smithee. "I look forward to working alongside STIR and all Oklahomans on continued projects to benefit our state's water resources."

Smithee, a 32-year veteran of the fight for water quality, served on a technical advisory group that reaffirmed the numerical standard for phosphorus levels in the Illinois River. He was recently appointed by Governor Mary Fallin to lead the Scenic Rivers Joint Study Committee, charged with determining the correlation between phosphorus, primary productivity, and algae growth. The study continues through December 2016.

These three honorees have contributed significantly to STIRís mission as watchdogs for water quality in northeast Oklahoma, according to Denise Deason-Toyne, president of STIR, a grassroots organization formed in 1984.

For more information, visit illinoisriver.org.

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