Missouri Stream Team program assists with cleanup and data collection in James River


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Here in the Ozarks, you’re never too far from the water. There are thousands of miles of creeks, streams, lakes and rivers to enjoy here in Missouri. Making sure they are clean and safe is important to everyone.

The Missouri Stream Team program began in 1989 with the goal of helping residents better understand the waters of Missouri. Because there are so many miles of streams and streams, it takes a large force of volunteers to help survey and improve water quality. Enter the voluntary water quality monitoring program.

Training for the Missouri Stream Team program has two stages. The first step is to watch a series of instructional videos online. The second stage is a group outing to a nearby water source.

“This [program] allows volunteers to get out and monitor their stream’s physical characteristics, chemical parameters,” said Cassie Twehus, water quality assistant at the Missouri Department of Conservation. “We’re doing biological monitoring as well as a visual survey of what’s going on in the floodplain.”

The James River Basin Partnership is part of the Missouri Stream Team program. Throughout the year, volunteers collect data on insect populations along South Creek and Jordan Creek, and hold trash clean-up events along the James River.

Project manager Todd Wilkinson encourages people to think locally.

“We tend to think about conservation issues of environmental pollution on a global scale and that’s certainly important,” Wilkinson said. “But if we all take small steps, it’s a big effort. So it seems daunting at first, but in reality, if everyone does it, it’s a big effort.

If you are interested in joining the Missouri Stream Team Program, the next training will take place this fall. For more information on the program, CLICK HERE.

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