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Posted 5/23/2013

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By Karen Downey, John Martin Reservoir Operations Manager and
Elizabeth Lockyear, Albuquerque District Public Affairs

PUEBLO, Colo., -- Corps employees from John Martin Reservoir presented water safety classes to elementary school students attending the annual Discovering Water in Pueblo event May 7, 2013, at the Colorado State University - Pueblo campus.

The day-long festival is designed to educate students about water-related topics including the water cycle, groundwater, irrigation, water sources and water safety.

“All of the third grade classes in Pueblo meet out at the college and attend programs all day,” said Downey.

Operations Manager Karen Downey and Automation Clerk Debby Schibbelhut presented to six classes of students that rotated through the classroom during the day. Approximately 150 children and adults heard the water safety program “Save a Buddy, Save Yourself.”

The main points of the program focused on the difference between swimming at a local swimming pool and swimming at a lake, and what actions people can take in a rural setting to safeguard their families and friends from a drowning accident or other water-related tragedy.

Downey and Schibbelhut demonstrated different types and sizes of life jackets as well as different techniques for helping someone who is struggling in the water. After the presentation, the students received water safety materials such as coloring books and pencils. Each item carried a water safety message and a reminder to always wear a life jacket.

Other federal and state agencies held presentations on various water-related topics including invasive aquatic species, drought conditions throughout the state and flash flooding.

“Everyone had a good time,” Downey said.

albuquerque district Colorado Corps of Engineers Discovering Water in Pueblo John Martin Dam John Martin Reservoir Pueblo students USACE water water safety