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This Week in #MOwater: Comment on Table Rock, Attend a River Fest, Cheer for New Algal Bloom Tech

Posted in: News- Apr 15, 2015 No Comments

Holy cow, what a full week! More than half of it’s good news, from new research on satellites for algal bloom warnings to one governor’s meaningful campaign for clean water. Here in Missouri, concerned citizens can make a difference by submitting comments about the Table Rock Lake shoreline management, going to a Missouri River cleanup, or having fun at a biannual river festival in Washington! It’s all here, and all solid stuff. Tweet it out to your friends using the hashtag #MOwater.


Expanded Protection: Spring River watershed manager expects improvements

“Often times there are high levels of E. Coli bacteria in the streams in this area. Usually after a heavy rain or something like that,” said Tony Moehr, Jasper County Health Department Administrator. Moehr says several years ago, his office was able to get a grant to work on managing the watershed of a small portion of Spring River near Carthage. Now, the EPA and Missouri Department of Natural Resources allowed them to expand the program to eight HUC’s, encompassing roughly 300 square miles of land. Moehr says that takes the area they can work in from less than 10% of Jasper County, to nearly a third of the county.

Possible Contamination: DNR investigates waste water
Reeds Spring

The waste water treatment facility might be pumping out dirty water that flows into Railey Creek and then eventually into Table Rock Lake. In a video recorded by one resident, the waste water looks unusually dirty and dark brown.  It flows into a popular swimming hole along Railey Creek Road.

Management Comments: Army Corps extends deadline
Table Rock Lake

After completing the Table Rock Lake Master Plan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is now accepting comments on the Shoreline Management Plan. This plan will control how the shoreline is managed and will effect everyone, not just adjacent landowners. That includes all aspects of vegetation, trees, boat docks, shoreline allocations, pathways, marinas, etc.

River Festival: April 18 activities include a Stream Team Cleanup, yoga, and live music

The Washington River Festival and Missouri River Cleanup will be held Saturday, April 18, at Rennick Riverfront Park in Washington.


Governor’s Buffer Initiative: Dayton aims to protect waters from erosion and runoff pollution

Known as the Buffer Initiative, the legislation requires at least 50 feet of perennial vegetation around Minnesota’s waters. Buffers help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment by slowing runoff, trapping sediment with these pollutants and allowing vegetation to absorb them.

New Satellites for Algal Blooms: $3.6 million project to protect freshwater

Scientists from four federal agencies will work to develop an early warning indicator for toxic and nuisance algal blooms in freshwater systems and build an information distribution system to expedite public health advisories.

Pipeline Flooding, Erosion Risk: Federal agency updates advisory

PHMSA issued an updated advisory bulletin to all owners and operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines to communicate the potential for damage to pipeline facilities caused by severe flooding.

Monsanto and Green Data: Climate Corps optimistic it will help environment

Many environmentalists are excited by precision agriculture, largely because of its potential to reduce fertilizer use. Nitrogen fertilizer not soaked up by crops emits a powerful greenhouse gas, while runoff from excess fertilizer causes toxic algae blooms that can contaminate drinking water and create dead zones in the ocean, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Dead Zone: district court sends back case on EPA requirements

That could be the death knell for the attempt by a consortium of environmental groups, led by the New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network and the national Natural Resources Defense Council, to force EPA to adopt rules that would require states to force farmers and businesses to reduce the flow of nutrients into the river.


Gaps in Pesticide Data: Our waters are polluted, and we often don’t know it

But even more concerning, the researchers report Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is that most of the time we lack any data at all on insecticide levels in waters near these agricultural fields. Of about 11,300 measurements for pesticide concentrations in surface waters, more than half of them (52 percent) breached U.S. or E.U. limits, the researchers found.

Farm Pollution Worsening: Ministry explores solutions

Farm pollution in China is worsening, despite moves to reduce excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, said the agricultural ministry, urging farmers to switch to organic alternatives to tackle severe soil and water pollution. But experts say achieving the ministry’s goal will be difficult without sacrificing food output, a top priority in the world’s most populous country.