Cape Nature Center leads Cape LaCroix Creek Stream Team efforts

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Nature Center naturalists and one center volunteer spent Tuesday afternoon at Cape LaCroix Creek in Cape Girardeau, evaluating the quality of the stream. Stream Team #3206, or the Stream Team MDC Garbage Guerrillas, regularly task themselves with maintaining the stream located in Cape Girardeau.

Sara Turner, manager of the Cape Nature Center, said the stream team has conducted data collection of macro-invertebrates since March of 2007. This year the team added tests of water chemistry including dissolved oxygen levels, nitrate levels, pH, conductivity and transparency.

“Over the years we’ve learned a lot about the creek that we are then able to turn around and use when educating the public at the nature center,” Turner said. “Although people tend to think that our area streams are polluted, the macro-invertebrate survey we do twice a year almost always results in an excellent rating.”

Although the stream tends to rate high on its surveys, Turner said it’s not without challenges.

“Urban sprawl, pollution and habitat degradation do occur some here, simply because the stream runs through such a highly populated area,” she said, adding that the public can help keep the stream clean by avoiding pouring chemicals into drains, creeks, and other waterways. 

“The biggest challenge we see at Cape LaCroix Creek is littering,” she said. “People should know that anyone can form their own stream team and learn how to actively take care of Missouri’s streams.”

Turner’s team is currently the only active Stream Team in southeast Missouri.

“We could really use additional families or groups to adopt a local stream, help pick up litter and influence their friends and family about healthy streams,” she said.

Learn more about how to form a Stream Team at Learn more about the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center at