Discover Oklahoma: Safety comes first when planning your lake vacation

People should observe safety precautions when at Oklahoma State parks this summer.
BY KELI CLARK Modified: July 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm •  Published: July 8, 2012
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Vacations, family gatherings and outdoor activities are on our agenda this time of year. Although we look forward to time away from jobs and the stresses of daily life, the carefree days of summer should not become the careless days of summer, especially concerning family safety.

Most Oklahoma State Parks are located on or near a body of water, and during these hot sultry days, any type of water activity is a popular choice for cooling off and relaxation. Water vacations are popular in Oklahoma because of the many lakes and rivers across the state.

Before you pack the swimsuit, goggles and swim fins, the first step in planning a getaway is a visit to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's newest website: checkmyoklake.com

This helpful website contains valuable information and links to state and federal agencies with the most up-to-date status of Oklahoma lakes. The general focus of checkmyoklake.com is to offer educational information regarding blue-green algae (BGA) and how the waterborne bacteria affect Oklahoma waterways. Several categories on the website contain informational articles on how BGA has an effect on the health of animals and people after coming in contact with water where blooms are present. Images of algae blooms help visitors to recognize its presence in the water and pages devoted to frequently asked questions and BGA research offer information about the dangerous blooms. In addition, links to other state authorities include the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, and the Grand River Dam Authority.