At Tuesday’s IID board meeting, several cities and a school districted were awarded $2000 for help with summer swimming programs. This event marked the end of a campaign with the IID to bring awareness to the dangers of swimming in canals by taking out their mascot to all of the schools in the Imperial Valley.
The City of Holtville was one of the recipients, along with the cities of Brawley, El Centro, Calipatria, Imperial, Westmorland, and the Calexico School District, each receiving a check for $2000.
With desert temperatures rising and the need to remind the public that the safest way to avoid drowning in canals and drains is to stay away from them, the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors declared the month of May to be Water Safety Month.
Following the declaration, IID water safety mascot Dippy Duck and his team began his annual migration to grade schools across the Imperial Valley to promote the water safety message.
From May to the middle of June, Dippy and his friends shared water safety information with about 30,000 elementary-aged children throughout Imperial County. This year, however, the water safety program was extra special-in addition to reminding children of the need to stay away from the canal system and to swim in pools with an adult or lifeguard present, Dippy is adding some fun by celebrating his 50th birthday.
Dippy Duck literally came to life back in 1966 to help build a psychological fence in the minds of children to keep them safe by keeping them away from IID’s 3,100 miles of canals and drains in Imperial County.
In addition to Dippy’s intent to reach every school-aged child with the water safety message, IID also helps local communities by providing funding that supports community pools and summer water activities.
Further, IID supports an additional campaign that reaches junior high and high school students with a similar message.