Former U.S. Sen. Robert S. Kerr was born in a log cabin that sits on a hill just south of the road in Ada that bears his name. About a half mile to the west as the crow flies is the federal water research facility that also bears his name. Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Laboratory is just one of the many legacies of a man who was arguably Oklahoma’s most powerful to hold the title of U.S. Senator.
Local legend has it that Sen. Kerr used his influence to give Ada first crack at a new program begun in the 1950s to explore the final frontier of space. Unfortunately, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – NASA - needed more water than they saw in this part of central Oklahoma. Second prize, the story goes, was Kerr Research Lab. But what a prize it turned out to be.
Its mission is to understand, protect and restore ground and surface water and ecosystems impacted by manmade or natural events.
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