Update - Our Missouri Waters: Lower Grand River Watershed

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Lower Grand River Watershed

Summer 2014 Newsletter

Inside this Issue

Project WET workshops - Upcoming July 23rd

Cover Crop Corner - upcoming trainings and Expo

Brunswick Grand and Missouri Clean-Up with Missouri River Relief September 6th

Regional Water Supply Workshop held last April in Lower Grand

Watershed Planning Workshop held last January

Internet Tools to Learn about Your Watershed

Grants Spotlight

Upcoming Events

Project WET Workshop July 23rd

Contact Mary Culler at 660-385-8000

Cover Crop Trainings and Expo

See article for more details and to register

Brunswick Grand and Missouri River Clean-Up

Saturday Sept. 6, 2014

8:30 to Noon

Brunswick Access

Contact  http://www.riverrelief.org/about/contact/

Questions and Answers

Please send your questions about the watershed or the Our Missouri Waters effort to the Northeast Regional Watershed Coordinator Mary Culler at Mary.Culler@dnr.mo.gov

Funding Opportunities

Nonpoint Source 319 Grant to Address Nonpoint Water Pollution.

Nonprofit Group Scrap Tire Cost Reimbursement

Wastewater Engineering Grants for Small Communities

5 Star Grants Program

Soil and Water Conservation Program

Contact the Northeast Regional Watershed Coordinator Mary Culler at 660-385-8000 to find out more about these funding sources.

Learn More

To learn more about the
Our Missouri Waters
effort, visit the department's website at www.dnr.mo.gov/omwi.htm.

Contact the Local Watershed Coordinator

Lower Grand River Watershed
Mary Culler, Coordinator

1709 Prospect Dr.
Macon, MO 63552



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Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) Workshop held in Brookfield on June 4, 2014, next workshop is July 23rd in Callaway County

A Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) workshop was held at the Linn County Area Career and Technical Center in Brookfield on June 4, 2014.  Project WET is an interdisciplinary series of hands-on activities for grades K-12 that teach students about water, water resources, and water management.  The goal of Project WET is to facilitate and promote awareness, appreciation, knowledge and stewardship of water resources through the development and dissemination of classroom-ready teaching aids and through the establishment of state and internationally sponsored Project WET programs. At the June 4th workshop in Brookfield, twelve educators from the area attended and completed the 6 hour workshop required to receive the Project WET activity guide.  These teachers participated in several Project WET activities throughout the day and are now certified Project WET educators. The workshop was taught by Missouri Department of Conservation Education Consultant, Adam Brandsgaard, and Missouri DNR Northeast Region watershed coordinator Mary Culler.

The primary sponsor of Project WET in Missouri is Missouri State University, and other state sponsors include the City of Springfield, Greene County, and the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks. Trained Project WET workshop facilitators are located throughout the state, and Our Missouri Water coordinators have been trained as facilitators or are in the process of being trained as Project WET facilitators. The next Project WET workshop in the Northeast Region will be held on July 23, 2014 at the Prairie Fork Conservation Area near Williamsburg in Callaway County. Please contact Mary Culler at 660-385-8000 or at Mary.Culler@dnr.mo.gov by July 22 to register for this workshop. There is a $25 course fee for the workshop that should be paid to Missouri State University.  If you are interested in attending a future Project WET workshop or your school would like to host a workshop, please contact Mary Culler at 660-385-8000 or Mary.Culler@dnr.mo.gov. More information about Project WET can be found at http://www.projectwet.org/ and http://projectwet.missouristate.edu/.

Project WET June 4th

Teachers participate in a Project WET activity at the June 4th workshop in Brookfield.

Cover Crop Corner: Upcoming opportunities for learning more about Soil Health:

The University of Missouri Bradford Research Farm, MU Soil Health Lab, and USDA are hosting Advanced Soil Health Trainings around the state from July 21 to August 22. Topics included in these workshops will include: developing cover crop mixes and adjusting rotations to utilize cover crops, integration of livestock and cover crops, rotational grazing effects on soil health, cost to benefit ratios of management practices to improve soil health, improving crop nutrient availability through improvement of soil health, farming to improve organic matter and soil water retention, and soil health testing benefits and procedures. The schedule of trainings is listed below:

            July 21 – Albany, MO

            July 22 – Marshall, MO

            August 7 – Adrian, MO

            August 8 – Lamar, MO

            August 18 – Edina, MO

            August 19 – Vandalia, MO

            August 21 – West Plains, MO

            August 22 – Owensville, MO  

For more information or to get the registration form, go to http://aes.missouri.edu/bradford/events/soilhealthws.php

Attendees are asked to bring TWO dry soil samples, 1.) one from a fence row or undisturbed native grass area and 2.) one from a field which has had a management practice applied.  Basic soil tests will be conducted for these samples.

The Grassfed Exchange national meeting will be in Columbia, MO on July 30th-August 1st. There will be speakers and attendees from all over the nation. Topics will include soil health, grazing, and livestock marketing. Go to www.grassfedexchange.com for more information.

Soil Health Exposition - Rebuilding Soils for a Changing Climate will be at the MU Bradford Research and Extension Center on August 13-14 from 9 am to 5 pm each day. MU Bradford Research Center is located at 4968 Rangeline Road, east of Columbia. 

This exposition is hosted by the University of Missouri and the USDA NRCS. Admission is free, and you can come any time between 9 am to 5 pm. The two day exposition will feature vendors, tours, demonstrations, and presentations by farmers who have successfully incorporated cover crops into their operations. The agenda is available at http://aes.missouri.edu/bradford/events/soilexpo.php.  For more information contact Kerry Clark at clarkk@missouri.edu or 573-884-794.

Cover Crop

Cover crops grow after the main crop has been harvested. The cover crop provides ground cover that helps to reduce runoff and soil erosion from the field, improve water infiltration into the ground, and improve the health of soil on the field.

Cover Crop Pilot Practice now available through the Soil and Water Conservation Program:

On June 10, 2014 the Soil and Water Districts Commission approved to offer a pilot cover crop practice state-wide for fiscal year 2015 which started on July 1, 2014.  For fiscal year 2015, each Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will have $4,800 available to develop cost-share contracts for the cover crop practice.  Eligible landowners or operators can receive a $30 per acre incentive payment for implementing cover crops on a maximum of 20 acres.  Landowners/operators that want to participate in the cost-share program for cover crops will be ranked for funding based on current field management and plans for implementing cover crops. Contact your local SWCD office for the full details of the cover crop pilot practice requirements and to sign up for the practice.

Missouri River Relief two month river clean-up kicks off in Brunswick on September 6th

Missouri River Relief (Stream Team #1875) is organizing a Big Muddy Clean Sweep this fall on the Missouri River. The clean-up will be a two month long continuous voyage by barge to pick up trash along the Missouri River from Brunswick to Hermann during the months of September and October. The two month clean-up begins in Brunswick on September 6th from 9 am to noon at the Brunswick River Access.  River Relief staff and volunteers will be picking up trash along the banks of the Grand River and Missouri River around Brunswick.  To register for the event, go to http://www.riverrelief.org/sign-up/ or you may register the day of the event at 8:30 am.  If you arrive later than 10 a.m., it may not be possible to get you on a boat during the morning.  Volunteers will receive a free boat ride, t-shirt, trash bags, gloves, lunch and a reusable water bottle.  Volunteers are asked to wear work appropriate clothes, long pants to protect from weeds and poison ivy, no open toed shoes, and bring sunscreen and bug spray.  Additional Big Muddy Clean Sweep events are being held in Boonville on September 20th, at the Capitol in Jefferson City on October 4th, and in Hermann on October 18th.  See http://www.riverrelief.org/upcoming/ for more information and for other upcoming Missouri River Relief events.

Brunswick Cleanup

Volunteers help pick up trash at the Missouri River Relief clean-up that was held in Brunswick in May 2012. At the 2012 clean-up, 4.2 tons of trash were removed from the banks of the Missouri and Grand Rivers near Brunswick.

Regional Water Supply Workshop held in the Lower Grand River Watershed on April 15, 2014

As a follow up from the Lower Grand River Water Summit held in September 2013, a Regional Water Supply Workshop was held on April 15, 2014 in Milan. Public water supply operators, water district boards, county commissioners, and local town leaders from a ten county area in north central Missouri were invited to attend. The workshop provided an overview of regional water supply, an update on the East Locust Creek Reservoir project in Sullivan County, and there were presentations and discussion about the engineering, environmental, and legal considerations of building water transmission lines.  Attendees also provided input about the idea of having a regional water supply transmission network to improve the connectivity of the water systems in the region. Sixty-six people attended the workshop, which included 44 people that represented public water systems or local government from the ten county area.  Many of the public water systems in this watershed rely solely on water from small community lakes and local streams. During periods of drought, there is a lack of water supply for many public water systems in the watershed. The East Locust Creek Reservoir project is a proposed 2,200 acre lake northeast of Milan that could potentially serve systems in ten counties in north central Missouri.

Water Supply Workshop

Public water supply operators and local leaders from a 10 county area met in Milan to learn about and discuss a regional water supply network for the region.

Several citizens from the Lower Grand River watershed attended the MU-Extension and DNR’s 319 Program watershed planning workshop at Lake of the Ozarks January 24-25, 2014

In January of this year, residents of the Lower Grand River watershed that had attended the Lower Grand River Water Summit in Brunswick in 2013 and attendees of the Big River and Spring River Water Summits were invited to attend a watershed planning workshop hosted by the University of Missouri-Extension and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ 319 Program at Lake of the Ozarks.  There were about 50 people that attended this workshop and eight attendees were representing the Lower Grand River Watershed.

At this workshop, attendees learned about the process of developing a nine element watershed plan and there were presentations from groups in Missouri and other surrounding states that have completed watershed plans and have been active in education and other activities to reduce non-point source pollution in their watershed.  One benefit of having a nine element plan for a watershed is that the watershed is then more competitive for receiving 319 grants and other funding for outreach or practices to reduce non-point source pollution.

The nine elements of a watershed plan include 1.) identification of sources of problems in a watershed, 2.) a description of what practices are needed to reduce the problems, 3.) an estimate of the pollutant load reductions expected from the practices, 4.) an estimate of the technical and financial assistance needed to implement the practices, 5.) an information/education component, 6. ) a schedule for implementing practices, 7.) milestones for the project, 8.) criteria to measure progress, and 9.) a monitoring component.  One of the most important parts of developing a watershed plan is to include residents and landowners of the watershed in the development of the plan to make sure that people living in the watershed have the opportunity to share their ideas.  The most successful watershed plans are those in which local residents are the leaders in outreach and activities to improve the condition of their watershed.  The Department of Natural Resources and the University of Missouri Extension are available to assist local groups that are interested in developing a plan for their local watershed.

Watershed Planning Workshop

Attendees of the Lower Grand River, Big River, and Spring River Watershed Summits gathered at Lake of the Ozarks in January to learn about watershed plans, 319 grant funding for watershed projects, and outreach efforts by watershed groups in Missouri and surrounding states.

Want to learn more about your watershed? These three internet tools can give you information about the watershed where you live.

Do you want to learn more about a certain watershed or stream?  There are several internet tools that provide information to learn about your watershed.  The first is called the Missouri Watershed Tool and is available at http://ims.missouri.edu/website/watershedTool/.  This website is managed by the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems (CARES) through the University of Missouri-Columbia and was partially funded through a 319 grant.  At this website, you can find information for any HUC 8, HUC 10, or HUC 12 watershed in the state of Missouri. A HUC (or Hydrologic Unit Code) is a code that is used to identify a certain drainage basin, similar to a zip code for a particular geographic area.  HUC 8 watersheds are the largest in size and within a HUC 8 watershed, there are smaller HUC 10 watersheds, which are then composed of smaller HUC 12 watersheds.  HUC 12 drainage basins are typically about 10,000 to 40,000 acres in size (See the Spring 2013 Lower Grand Newsletter for more explanation of Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs)).  At the Missouri Watershed Tool website, you can search by county to find the HUC 8’s, HUC 10’s, and HUC 12’s that overlap that county. Then, when you select a certain HUC, a summary is available that provides information about the population demographics, streams, land use and characteristics, and water monitoring in that drainage basin.  Data found on this website has been gathered from data ranging from 2004 to 2012, so this website is a good place to start learning about general characteristics of your watershed, although some of the data may have changed slightly since the website was last updated.

The EPA’s Surf Your Watershed website at http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/locate/index.cfm can also be used to gather information about a watershed.  At this website, you can search by zip code, city, watershed name, county, stream, or 8 digit HUC number to find a HUC 8 watershed in your area.  Once a search is completed for a specific area, information for the HUC 8 watersheds in that area is provided, including a map of the watershed and information about water quality data, impaired streams, USGS stream flow gages, and citizen groups in the watershed.  Another watershed tool is the “How’s My Waterway” website also provided by the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/mywaterway.  At this website, you can search by zip code or city to find which waterways in your area have been assessed for water quality and if the waterbody met water quality standards or if it is considered impaired.

Grants Spotlight

Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection was recently updated in April 2014.

This catalog of federal funding sources is available at www.epa.gov/watershedfunding. On this website, you can search for funding sources for your project. You can query funding sources by your type of organization, your type of project, whether the funding is a grant or loan, whether match is required or not, and what agency the funding is through. For example, I conducted a search as a community/watershed group, and I asked to see all funding opportunities related to a project related to Best Management Practices (BMPs). My search resulted in 16 programs through 7 different federal agencies that may be able to provide funding for BMPs, depending on what type of BMP is desired for a project.  

If you have an idea for a project in your community or watershed, your local watershed coordinator can assist you in searching for a funding source to fit your project.

Want to find out more about the Our Missouri Waters effort and How You Can Be a Part of this Effort?

The overall goal of the Our Missouri Waters effort is to identify issues in a watershed, engage local watershed communities to help identify priorities and solutions to water issues, and better target and prioritize funding and resources within a watershed. There is a great video about the purpose of the Our Missouri Waters effort on the website at http://dnr.mo.gov/omwi.htm. If you have not seen this video yet, check it out!

Are you interested in providing input about the department’s watershed effort? Do you have an idea for a water quality project in the watershed? Does your community or school need financial assistance for a project? Are you interested in water education? Do you want to form a Stream Team or join an existing Stream Team? Do you have ideas that could benefit the communities and resources of this watershed? Do you have questions about the watershed or about the Our Missouri Waters effort? If you have any ideas, comments, questions or suggestions, please give me a call or send me an email. I can be reached at 660-385-8000 or at Mary.Culler@dnr.mo.gov.

This newsletter, along with our previous newsletters will be posted on the Our Missouri Waters website at http://dnr.mo.gov/omwi/lowergrand.htm.

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Celebrating 40 years of taking care of Missouri's natural resources. To learn more visit dnr.mo.gov.