Clean Water

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From Missouri Conservationist: Aug 2009

Stream Team

Lakeside Nature Centure

  • Stream Team #: 175
  • Date formed: Aug. 20, 1990
  • Location: Blue River
  • For more info about Stream Teams: explore the links listed below.

Every stream team has a specialty. Stream Team 175’s specialty is doing everything. Since its formation nearly two decades ago, this team has engaged thousands of people in projects ranging from presenting educational programs in schools and promoting stream conservation through news media to water-quality testing and tree planting. The Friends of the Lakeside Nature Center have planted more than 60,000 trees and dedicated more than 216,000 hours to keeping their chosen stream healthy and beautiful. Their annual Blue River Rescue cleanup event has removed more than 2,225 tons of refuse from the Blue River. Spokeswoman Vicki Richmond says keeping volunteers motivated is not difficult. “Once you have cleaned up a stream it becomes your own river. It does your heart good to see it clean. It doesn’t seem like it would be fun, but people get out there, and they have a blast.”

Keep ORVs Out of Streams

Driving in streams is destructive and rude.

With Labor Day coming up, some Missourians will bring out offroad vehicles. That’s okay as long as tire prints don’t end up in a Missouri stream. Operating ORVs in or through streams kills aquatic insects that fish depend on for food. It also destroys fish habitat and ruins the fun of swimmers, paddlers and anglers. Missouri law prohibits driving ORVs in streams except when fording streams at customary road crossings or for agricultural purposes on land owned by the ORV operator. Doing so under other circumstances can bring fines and suspension of hunting and fishing privileges.

Fish Kill Toll Continues

Citizens’ timely reporting plays a critical role.

Would you prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of fish in Missouri lakes and streams if you could? Collectively, Missourians have the power to do this and more. Every year the Conservation Department investigates fish kills that decimate aquatic life. Causes range from accidental spills of molasses to deliberate dumping of industrial chemicals. Of the 24 pollution events investigated in 2006, 17 resulted in the deaths of 51,390 fish and other aquatic animals. Municipal pollution accounted for the most incidents (seven) followed by industrial (four) and agricultural (three) pollution. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Missourians can and do help prevent fish kills by timely reporting. Quick reporting of dying fish, chemical smells or discolored water allows state officials to reduce and contain fish kills. It also improves chances of finding the causes of fish kills and, when appropriate, holding the polluters accountable. In 2006 alone, polluters paid approximately $300,000 in penalties, damages and investigation costs. You can report pollution incidents by calling the nearest conservation agent.

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