and educate the public about Missouri’s aquatic resources.”
The health of Missouri’s waterways is directly tied to the health of the lands around it. “By using a watershed approach to conservation, which is looking at all the
land that drains into a particular body of water, we can improve water quality by making sure that habitat along stream banks are healthy,” says Lisa Allen, MDC state forester. “For example, a healthy forest helps to reduce erosion by making sure that sediment doesn’t enter a stream and block out light, killing aquatic plants or preventing their growth. And forest canopies help shade waters and keep stream temperatures constant, which benefits stream life.”
Broad partnerships make watershed conservation work. MDC works with citizen Stream Teams, as well as other agencies, such as the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service to ensure that healthy waters continue to benefit people and wildlife.
Stream Teams help Missourians conserve and improve more than 110,000 miles of streams through stream cleanups, tree plantings, water quality monitoring, storm drain stenciling and by leading educational projects.
4,321 Stream Teams throughout the state focus the can-do attitude of more than 76,000 volunteers, which contributed more than 146,000 hours last year to enhance and restore Missouri streams. Since the program began, Stream Teams have performed 1.7 million hours of volunteer work and have removed more than 8,000 tons of trash from Missouri’s waterways.
“The benefit to Missouri streams is incalculable. This is citizen-led conservation at its best,” says Sherry Fischer, MDC stream services program supervisor. “After gaining a firsthand knowledge of the problems, solutions and needs of Missouri’s streams, volunteers are also better equipped to speak out on behalf of healthy waters.”
Missouri Stream Team is a joint effort of MDC, the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Today, Missouri’s Stream Team program is nationally recognized and serves as a model for other states. Anyone can join. For June 2012 Missouri Conservationist help forming a Stream Team or finding an active one in your area, call 1-800-781-1989 or visit mostreamteam.org.
Watersheds link our land and communities through water. Regardless of where you live in Missouri, you are a part of a watershed that drains to a local creek, which in turn eventually joins the Missouri or Mississippi rivers. We each play a part