New MDC book explores the history of Missouri rivers

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Learn through a new book from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) about Missouri's rich river history and how clean flowing water in our rivers is vital to sustaining the lives of all Missourians. The 360-page Voices of Missouri's Rivers by William Turner explores the natural and cultural history of Missouri's rivers in vivid, full-color detail. Highlights of the book include the state's river history, basic river science, and a glimpse of the future of river conservation.

Turner writes, "The stories of Missouri's rivers are very much the stories of its people."

The forward of the book states, "The chapters flow like a river, and around each bend we see the people and Missouri's culture interwoven into a unique tapestry. We learn how the rivers helped open our state to settlement and commerce. Missouri's rivers were our state's first highways – our first arteries bringing civilization to the wilderness. We visualize how important a thread the rivers were to a hardscrabble existence and how unbridled commerce almost ruined those pristine, clear rivers."

Turner holds a master's degree in aquatic ecology and has taught river science at the college level. He also helped establish and lead a statewide river conservation program in Missouri. Turner had a 30-year career with MDC and retired as the Department's Fisheries Division chief.

The book sells for $19.50 plus tax (and shipping for mail orders) at MDC nature centers, regional offices, and online at