Category Archives: Advocacy

One goal of the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition is to encourage advocacy among the Stream Team Community. One way we do this is by sending out Issue Alerts that will give your Team the opportunity to voice an opinion regarding issues related to protection of our water resources.

It’s on! Old-fashioned debate about Ozark National Scenic Riverways is set for May 3

On May 3, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and Missouri state Representative Chris Kelly will square off on the courthouse steps of Shannon County in Eminence, Mo., to discuss the future management of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. It’s an old-school debate that started in a very new-school way: through exchanges on Twitter. Rudi Keller of the Columbia Tribune reports:

The Kelly-Kinder debate sprang from a Twitter exchange in February on the day Kinder participated in a news conference calling for state control. Kelly, taking aim at the idea, wrote that it would go “back the way it was … with Dodge trucks caught in the rootwads. The oil in the water made neat rainbows.”

The issue is not whether to allow unlimited development or allow “Dodge trucks caught in the rootwads,” Kinder said. “That is a straw man and unworthy of a serious argument. No one wants to go back to that. It is how best to preserve these glittering jewels of God’s creation in the Ozarks.”

Read more…

At issue are values around the economics and ecology of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways – particularly the conservation, preservation and recreation of this important recreation area. We encourage Stream Teamers to keep up with this ever-evolving story. In past weeks, we have covered legislative action potentially allowing the state to take control over national land. Recently, Jennifer Davidson of KSMU in Springfield covered the issue in a two-part series, and this debate is yet another chapter.

If you plan to attend:

  • Who: The public is invited to attend this debate between Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and state Representative Chris Kelly
  • What: The politicians will discuss the future management of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
  • When: Saturday, May 3 at 11 a.m.
  • Where: Eminence, Mo., Shannon County courthouse steps (alternative rain sites TBA — you can probably just ask around town once you get there)
  • Why: Stay informed of the rhetoric surrounding this important issue. And be entertained! This is what our great-great grandparents did for fun, so pack your popcorn and join in a great American tradition.

Update: Brigit Bowden reported on this event for KBIA.

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Issue Update: ONSR state takeover no longer in budget

Last month, we sent an issue alert concerning proposed legislation that would affect future management of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. We asked you to voice your opinion, and now the issue is resolved. Thank you for your input. 

 

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee stripped the $6 million appropriation for a state takeover of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways from the fiscal year 2015 budget. Senators and Representatives voiced various concerns over the bill. Read the full article by Alex Stuckey on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

 

We have previously written about the proposed budget and an update on the House vote and move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Other, active bills related to the ONSR include:

  • SCR 22, which urges the National Park Service to not take action on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways general management plan, and for the Department of the Interior to negotiate the return of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways to the state. It passed the Senate on February 20 and referred to the House Committee on Tourism and Natural Resources on April 1.
     
  • HB 2294, which provides for the sale of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways to certain private parties in the event the United States Secretary of the Interior conveys such property to the state. This bill is sponsored by Jeff Pogue and was introduced April 1 and read a second time April 2.
     
  • HCR 9, which strongly urges the National Park Service to draft its final General Management Plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways to recognize the importance the riverways provides to the state.

-1One goal of the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition is to encourage advocacy among the Stream Team Community. One way we do this is by sending out Issue Alerts that will give your Team the opportunity to voice an opinion regarding issues related to protection of our water resources.

Issue Update: ONSR Bill at Senate Appropriations Committee

[EDITOR UPDATE: See the final outcome of this bill.]

The Ozark National Scenic Riverways bill, HB 2006, passed the Senate’s Second Reading and has been sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to voice your opinion on the maintenence of the Riverways in the state park budget and transferring the Riverways from the National Park to the Missouri State Park system.

Here’s a brief history of the bill:

  • February 6 – Bill is first introduced by Representative Rick Stream.
  • February 10  – Bill is referred to the Budget Committee
  • March 12 – Bill is referred to Rules Committee
  • March 27 – Bill is read a final time in the House and passed with 110 yes votes and 40 no votes [see how your representatives voted]. It is introduced and read the first time at the Senate.
  • March 31 – Bill is read a second time in the Senate and referred to the Senate Committee on Senate-Appropriations

Details of HB 2006 can be found here, and you can read here for more about the legislative process.

Learn more about all proposed regulation changes in Missouri state government

-1One goal of the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition is to encourage advocacy among the Stream Team Community. One way we do this is by sending out Issue Alerts that will give your Team the opportunity to voice an opinion regarding issues related to protection of our water resources.

Issue Alert: Ozark National Scenic Riverways Face Changes

[EDITOR UPDATE: See the final outcome of this bill.]

The House Budget Committee this Wednesday is considering a proposed appropriation of $6 million from “surplus revenue fund” and whatever else is needed from the Park Sales Tax for operation and maintenance of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) in the event this national park is transferred to the state, as requested in other bills currently under consideration in the Missouri General Assembly and the U.S. Congress.

The transfer would have impacts on the State of Missouri and we encourage all Stream Teams to become informed on this issue and voice your opinion.

Call or email your state representative and senator and especially members of the House Budget Committee (see list below) by noon Wednesday and voice your opinion on the maintenance of the Riverways in the state park budget (HB2006HCS,p20) and transferring the Riverways from the National Park to the state park system.

You can VOICE your opinion by:

  • Calling Kirkwood Republican Representative Rick Stream, (573) 751-4069, House Budget Committee Chair, and voice your opinion about the Ozark National Scenic Riverways being transferred from the National Park to the state and utilization of the state park budget to maintain the Riverways.
  • Call your State Senator and voice your opinion about the Ozark National Scenic Riverways being transferred from the National Park to the state and utilization of the state park budget to maintain the Riverways.

Call your State Representatives, especially the House Budget Committee, and voice your opinion about the Ozark National Scenic Riverways being transferred from the National Park to the state and utilization of the state park budget to maintain the Riverways.

Learn more about all proposed regulation changes in Missouri state government

-1One goal of the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition is to encourage advocacy among the Stream Team Community. One way we do this is by sending out Issue Alerts that will give your Team the opportunity to voice an opinion regarding issues related to protection of our water resources.

Issue Alert: Changes proposed that would affect the Department of Conservation

photo by Flickr user B, K & G

Senate Joint Resolution No. 42 will be debated on the Senate floor SOON.  House Joint Resolution 57 is an identical bill introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives. We would like to encourage you to learn more about this issue and the effects it would have on our Missouri Department of Conservation in its efforts to manage our fish, forests, and wildlife.

This legislation will establish a permanent Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and oversee all rules promulgated by state agencies, including the Missouri Conservation Commission. This represents a departure from how conservation has operated in Missouri since the 1930s and returns the state to a time when the General Assembly set hunting, fishing and other regulations.

Those who have opinions about this bill should contact their senators and representatives as soon as possible. Name and contact information for members of the General Assembly, as well as the full text of this bill, can be found at http://www.moga.mo.gov/

Read about this issue in recent articles from the News Tribune and the Southeast Missourian.

Please contact your State Senator and Representative and voice your opinion.

Quick Links

Senate Joint Resolution No. 42

Learn more about all proposed regulation changes in Missouri state government

Look Up your Senator and State Representative

News Tribune

Southeast Missourian

-1One goal of the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition is to encourage advocacy among the Stream Team Community.  One way we do this is by sending out Issue Alerts that will give your Team the opportunity to voice an opinion regarding issues related to protection of our water resources.

Road Salt Roundup

photo by Flickr user J.C. Burns

With all the snow and ice Missouri’s seen this month, it sure does make one wonder where all that road salt goes. Here are just a few articles to get you up to speed on what slows ice down.

Public Radio International’s “Living on Earth” magazine presents their Road Salt Report. Ashley Ahearn reports.

One recent National Academy of Sciences study shows that salt concentration in fresh water is on the rise in Maryland, New Hampshire and New York due to road salting and could make groundwater in many areas of the Northeast un-drinkable within a century.


But don’t let that get you down! Here’s one solution: A sensor detects salt on the road to avoid excess. A report from Spain on Phys.org

The sensor is capable of measuring the luminescent properties of sodium chloride (its range and decay time), which enables concentrations of salt lower than 20 g/m2 – the quantity it is recommended not to exceed – to be detected.

And then there’s beet juice. Washington, D.C. spent $18,000 on beet juice to pretreat its roads, and Delaware roads also “took a beeting.” (Their bad pun, not ours.)

Walerstein said the company buys its sugar beets from American growers, including farms in northern Ohio and Michigan.


See also:

“Winters in wintry cities remain salty year-round” by for the Great Lakes Echo.

An oldie but goodie: “Environmental Impact of Road Salt and Alternatives in New York” by William Wegner and Marc Yaggi.

Two stories Jan Ellen Spiegel: “Dumping plowed snow into bodies of water raises a few environmental issues” and “Between a rock (salt) and a hard place.”

Are there any Missouri counties or cities out there practicing alternatives? What do you use for your sidewalk? Let us know in the comments!

Water pollution and solutions news roundup

Walking-the-line
Photo by Flickr user Angelina :).

Could your driveway be poisoning your kids? Robert McClure of Investigate West writes for QUEST.

Car tires, rain, foot traffic, snowplows, and the freeze/thaw cycle all cause tiny bits of the sealant to “abrade,” as scientists say. Little bits of the black stuff flake off. Other studies have shown that the runoff from the coal tar-sealed lots harms critters in freshwater streams where it ends up, affecting their development and reproduction and reducing the populations and the number of species able to live in affected streams.

Microbeads a major problem in L.A. River. By Louis Sahagun for the L.A. Times.

The tiny polyethylene and polypropylene beads are an emerging concern among scientists and environmentalists. The beads come mostly from personal care products such as facial exfoliants and body washes. They are not biodegradable, however, and because they are not removed easily by wastewater treatment plants, they flow out to sea and enter the food chain.

Residents Race To Save Urban Wetlands as Puerto Rican Estuary Faces Dire Pollution Problem. By Danica Coto of AP in Huffington Post.

More than 12,600 pounds (5,700 kilograms) of trash was pulled out of the San Juan Bay Estuary in just a few hours that recent weekend morning, evidence of the enormous scale of the problem, but perhaps also a sign that things might improve. A plan to rescue this urban wetland, which is still a vital habitat and prime tarpon fishing ground despite the pollution, is a priority for the administration of Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla, in part to bring more tourists and needed revenue to the gritty capital of the U.S. island territory.

River’s contaminated sediment targeted in EPA cleanup plan. By Jim Kasuba for The News-Herald in Southgate, Mich.

Most of the industries that lined the Detroit River are long gone, but the pollution they left behind remains to this day. It took decades to contaminate the river to a point where wildlife and human health have been affected, but it could take just as long to clean it all up.

Your turn: Do you have a piece of news you’d like to see covered in the next news roundup? Leave us a comment and we’ll put it in the next roundup!