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This week in #MOwater: Topeka Shiner redux, Missouri’s shiniest wastewater facility, and Columbia’s (potential) plastic bag ban

Posted in: News- Nov 19, 2014 No Comments

Don’t call it a comeback: the highly endangered Topeka Shiner is about ten thousand fries closer to its rightful place in Missouri’s prairie stream ecology. That’s just the start of good news, both in Missouri and around the country. That’s why we’re starting with “solutions” in today’s aggregation of Missouri water headlines. Remember, if you see something in the news about Missouri water quality, or just visit a cool stream, Tweet/Instagram us (@mostreamteam) a link/picture with the hashtag #MOwater, and you might see it in our next newsletter or weekly news roundup. Praises and thanks, Stream Teamers!

Solutions

Topeka Shiners: Missouri releases thousands of minnows
Green Castle

The Missouri Department of Conservation has released about 9,500 endangered fish in northeast Missouri. The department this week announced the farm-raised Topeka shiners now are swimming in ponds and streams at the Union Ridge Conservation Area.

Sediment Success: Finger Lakes State Park stream gets thumbs-up
Boone County

Old news, but it’s good news, and it made the EPA Newsletter’s headlines this week: Stakeholders reduced sedimentation and restored Finger Lakes’ Kelley Branch and Rocky Fork by reclaiming abandoned mine lands, implementing management changes on state park land, and installing agricultural best management practices. MoDNR removed both streams from the state’s list of impaired waters in 2010.

Plastic Bag Ban: Waste, pollution cited in proposal to limit plastic bags in Columbia
Columbia

The Sierra Club Osage Group has proposed an ordinance that would require shoppers to bring their own bags or pay at least 10 cents each per paper bag. Paper bags would need to be 100 percent recyclable and contain at least 40 percent recycled material.

Improved Irrigation: U.S. Farm Irrigation Becomes More Efficient, Moves East
Nationwide

A 2013 survey reveals two long-term trends in U.S. agriculture: farms are producing more food while using less water, and farms in the typically rainy East are increasingly investing in irrigation equipment that is more commonly found in the arid West.

EPA: Despite GOP opposition, Chief presses ahead with Climate Change initiatives
Nationwide

The Obama administration has no intention of backing down on major environmental initiatives to fight climate change and improve air and water quality, EPA chief Gina McCarthy said Monday, dismissing Republican threats to thwart proposed regulations by starving the agency of money.

“The American people want the EPA to continue to protect them and their families, and most importantly, their kids,” she said. “That’s the reason we’re focused on climate change, and that’s certainly the reason we’re focused on other pollutions standards.”

Wastewater: New treatment facility begins transition
Cape Girardeau

The $55 million plant is partially funded through a 2011 voter-approved increase in water and sewer fees. The new, more efficient treatment facility features four treatment structures and an administration building.

Pesticide Monitoring: County by county, Hawaii steps up to regulate pollution
Hawaii

Concerns about how pesticides used by large agricultural companies are affecting the land, air and water have grown along with the debate over genetically modified crops in Hawaii. Josh Green, who leads the Senate Health Committee, said seeing how much money Monsanto spent to oppose the moratorium helped spur him to make pesticide regulation among his top three priorities when the Legislature resumes in January.

Problems

Restoration Critics: Stream restoration not helping reduce pollution in Chesapeake Bay, critics say
Maryland

Critics say more money and effort needs to be put into reducing runoff to complement stream restoration. “I think restoration science is still at a pretty early stage, and we have an obligation to learn as much as we can from it and recognize we don’t have all the answers,” said Erik Michelsen, who manages stormwater control efforts for Anne Arundel County.

Arkansas Aquifers: Irrigation draws more groundwater than is sustainable
Arkansas

Groundwater is the one of Arkansas’s most important natural resources, yet the state’s farmers are using twice as much groundwater as is sustainable, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report. Irrigation accounts for 94 percent of the state’s groundwater withdrawals, most of which come from farms in the Mississippi River Valley. (via Circle of Blue)

Possibilities

Floating Gardens: Making a living on flooded rivers
Bangladesh

Floating farms — and produce that can flourish in flood conditions — are a way to help Bangladeshis live with rising waters.