In 2006, Citizen Potawatomi Nation started its own Department of Environmental Protection with the purpose of protecting the CPN Tribal jurisdiction by maintaining, observing and safeguarding the quality of surface water resources.

Environmental specialists Micah Isaacs and Jody Johnson spend much of their work weeks on or in the various Tribal-supervised waterways collecting samples.

“The main reason for doing this testing is to collect base line data so we know what the water quality is supposed to look like,” said Isaacs. “Whenever the Tribe wants to bring an industry in later, we can tell whether or not the industry is helping, hurting or harming the water quality.”

Isaacs and Johnson test the water for different levels and readings. They test for dissolved oxygen which in abundance can be harmful to aquatic life. They also check the conductivity of the water as well as the pH levels in order to see how acidic the water is.

Along with those tests, they also get composite grab samples, which are tested for nitrates and from fertilizers that can sometimes contaminate water.

If you would like to learn more about the work of environmental specialists like Isaacs and Johnson, please contact the CPN Department of Environmental Protection at 405-878-4672.