We take water resources seriously and so should you. In Missouri we are blessed with abundant water and cursed with abundant pollution and increasing destruction of our watershed ecosystems.
- Many of the rivers and streams that flow through our urban and suburban communities suffer from persistently high levels of bacteria and chloride. As small watersheds become more and more developed they are less and less capable of absorbing rainfall, which leads to excessive stormwater runoff. This imbalance causes more frequent and sever flash floods which bring with them major erosion problems.
- Missouri plays a significant role in the existence and persistence of the Gulf Dead Zone. Nutrients from farm fields, lawn fertilizer, Animal Feeding Operations, and sewage outfalls in our state contribute to the hypoxic effect that depleates thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico of dissolved oxygen, every year.
- We have destroyed about 87% of Missouri's wetlands, much of this has been converted to either agriculture or urban development, many wetlands were also lost through road building. Those lost wetlands used to filter out nutrients and store about 5 trillion gallons of what we now commonly refer to as polluted floodwater.
- We have disconnected many miles of our rivers from their floodplains with extensive levees, encouraging communities to take often ill-fated risks that there will not be a big flood. As more communities have taken this risk, more levees have been built, increasing the flood risk, and so on. When floods inevitably occur, damages are astronomical and yet we inevitably rebuild the levee, and so on.
- Every two years increasing numbers of rivers, streams, and lakes are added to Missouri's impaired waters list, the list of waters that aren't safe for fishing and swimming, or can't support aquatic life.
- Our current regulations only offer protections to a very small fraction of the interconnected waters in Missouri, in defiance of the Clean Water Act.
And here's what we are doing in our efforts to restore and preserve Missouri's water resources
- Building off the 2004 lawsuit, the Coalition continues to campaign for the protection of all streams in the state. Currently,
- MCE is raising awareness and working to restore Keifer Creek, a popular swimming area that flows through Castlewood State Park in St. Louis County that has a history of dangerously high levels of E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria.
- The out-dated policies of the US Army Corps of Engineers are responsible for the destruction and degradation of thousands of miles of wetlands, streams and rivers in the St. Louis region and around the country. Through public comments, the Coalition seeks to reform the Corps’ policies and practices to promote sustainability and environmental sensitivity.
- MCE is also promoting low impact development and green infrastructure, which are sustainable approaches to managing stormwater runoff. As a part of this effort, the Coalition is conducting stormwater education and encouraging local municipalities to make smart zoning decisions.