Clean Water

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From Missouri Conservationist: Jan 2009

Stream Team: Show-Me Clean Streams

Stream Team #: 523
Date formed: Sept. 19, 1994
Location: Bonne Femme, Hinkson and Hominy creeks
For more info about Stream Teams: see the links listed below.

This group’s name embodies a little irony. When they began checking streams in and around Columbia they were hard-pressed to show anyone a clean stream. Long-time team member Charles Laun, a retired microbiology professor, recalls sending his students to Hinkson Creek and other streams for samples to use in class and being amazed at how high the bacteria counts were. Most of their work to date has been focused on identifying problems and raising public awareness of what they found. They have spent more than 2,400 hours conducting programs in schools and other public forums. On a more hands-on level, Show-Me Clean Streamers have hauled more than 15 tons of trash out of area streams and planted nearly 10,000 trees to protect stream-side land from erosion. Their current focus is on obtaining grants for more remedial work. Asked why they do it, Laun said, “It’s a lot of fun.”

Get EQIPed to Protect Water

Healthy water starts with healthy land

Farmers, ranchers and confined animal feeding operators concerned about their bottom lines and their streams find help with both in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. EQIP can pay up to 75 percent of the cost of structural practices or management practices that keep nutrients, sediment and pesticides out of streams and groundwater. The program also offers incentives for improvements that benefit at-risk wildlife. Applications are open year-round, and are approved around the end of the calendar year. To learn more about EQIP, call the nearest office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or visit the links listed below.

Mo. Stream Team Turns 20

Starting with a few fly fishers to 3,835 teams and growing

Missouri Stream Team began in January 1989 with the notion of empowering citizens to care for their streams. It was only an idea floating around the heads of the late G. Andy Runge and other conservation visionaries on the Conservation Federation of Missouri’s Rivers and Streams Committee. Then committee member Marty King handed a mock-up of a promotional brochure to Mark VanPatten of the Roubidoux Fly Fishers. “I looked over the brochure set it down and forgot about it,” recalls VanPatten. “Then one day I picked it up again and re-read it. I remember thinking what a great idea it was. I grabbed a pen and filled out the application on the back. It was a self-mailer so I put a stamp on it and sent it in.” King’s counterpart at the Conservation Department, Joe Bachant, was surprised when the one-of-a-kind brochure showed up on his desk, making the Roubidoux Fly Fishers Stream Team No. 1. Today 3,835 Stream Teams devote hundreds of thousands of hours annually to stream conservation. To join, visit the links listed below.

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler