Lake of the Arbuckles Watershed Association
The Lake of the Arbuckles—as well as the adjacent Chickasaw National Recreation Area (CNRA)—provides enormous economic benefits to south-central Oklahoma. In addition to serving as a vital water supply for area citizens, associated recreational opportunities and more than 1.5 million annual visitors contribute some $12.7 million to area economies.
However, Arbuckle Lake is profoundly impacted by activities in its 132 square-mile watersheds. The elements that fuel growth and make this area a desirable place to live—the City of Sulphur, industries, farms, and ranches, and the CNRA—also present complex challenges to the lake’s continued sustainability. Growing water demands and increased activity in the watershed have begun to impair the quantity and quality of lake waters.
The Lake of the Arbuckles Watershed Association (LAWA) was created to help the lake meet and maintain its potential. LAWA is supported by the Chickasaw Nation, Oka’ Institute, and a variety of additional stakeholders—including the Noble Research Institute and others possessing expertise in watershed protection and unique insight into relevant local issues.
LAWA and a broad Advisory Council have created The Lake of the Arbuckles Watershed Restoration Plan, which includes a detailed evaluation of data to determine pollution sources as well as the most effective voluntary remedial actions. Best Management Practices for the lake and its watershed and related land practices foster soil health and stability, resulting in increased agricultural production, reduced sediment, cleaner water, and an improved environment for fish, wildlife, and humans.