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IID's Dippy Duck program celebrating 36 safe years

May 02, 2002

The Imperial Irrigation District's famous water mascot Dippy Duck is celebrating 36 years of water safety as the district's 2002 water safety program gets under way this week.

The annual program, which educates children to stay away from canals and drains, will be presented to elementary and preschool children throughout Imperial County during the next several weeks.

The 2002 water safety program begins on the heels of resolutions adopted by the IID Board of Directors and the Imperial County Board of Supervisors that proclaimed May as Water Safety Month and declared May 10 as "Dippy Duck Day."

While IID began its water safety program in 1959, Dippy Duck joined the team in 1966. The cartoon character was based on a real duck that nearly drowned in a canal.


With Dippy turning 36 this year, the theme for the 2002 safety campaign is "36 Safe Years."

Linda L. Sanchez, IID's educational program coordinator, is scheduled to take the program to nearly 30,000 children in public and private schools and day-care centers throughout the Imperial Valley. Assisting Sanchez with the presentations this year are water safety educational program representatives Gina Sanchez, Josh Steffen and Nicole Tumbaga.

IID public information department Manager Ron Hull said, "By educating children through the Dippy Duck program we have been very successful in creating a psychological barrier to keep kids safe by keeping them out of canals. We expect continued success with this year's program as well."

Any school not already scheduled for a presentation can contact Linda Sanchez at 482-9605.

Though the Imperial Valley's 3,000 miles of canals may look inviting to swimmers, they carry swiftly moving water that makes them extremely dangerous.

IID supplies all children who attend with a packet that includes Dippy Duck coloring books, activity books and a Dippy Duck toy.

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