Gov. Nixon announced James River Basin Partnership received a $600,000 grant to protect vegetation along James River

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-184 For Immediate Release: July 6, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, -- Gov. Jay Nixon announced the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded the James River Basin Partnership a $600,000 grant to preserve and protect the river's riparian corridor.  The James River Basin Partnership will provide a contribution of $400,020 over the life of the project bringing the total cost of the project to more than $1 million.  During tough economic times, this infusion of grant funding will help protect citizens and the environment by preserving and protecting the James River in Southwest Missouri.

The grant will help fund the James River Riparian Corridor Restoration and Protection project, targeting areas along the James River and its tributaries that have an inadequate riparian corridor. This project will implement measures to help restore the corridor to its natural state while offering protection practices through establishing conservation easements. A riparian corridor is an area of land adjacent to a water body.  Often vegetated, it provides a buffer between the land and the water. By re-establishing the riparian vegetation, the partnership hopes to improve the natural ecological functions of the river corridor, which includes protecting the stream from nonpoint source pollution runoff.  Currently, there are several segments of the James River on the State's list of impaired waters for excess nutrients related to urban and agricultural nonpoint sources and urban point sources.  Nonpoint source pollution enters waterways as water flows overland and across the landscape during rainfall, snowmelt and irrigation events and cannot be traced back to a single source. The runoff picks and transports pollutants such as litter, oil and grease, bacteria, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and sediment that can impair waters' beneficial uses such as swimming and fishing. Point source pollution is pollution that can be traced back to a single source such as a wastewater treatment facility.

In 2001, the Department completed a Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, for the James River to address the impaired section of the river.  A TMDL is a study of the impaired water that provides a background of the water and establishes the maximum amount of a pollutant the water can absorb before its quality is affected. The TMDL can be viewed on the Department's website at www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/tmdl/2347-2362-2365-james-r-tmdl.pdf

The four-year project will focus on the establishment, enhancement of riparian corridors and preservation of existing corridors by using conservation easements.  The project will make conservation easement opportunities available for riverfront property owners throughout the James River Basin.  The voluntary easement program will allow landowners to ensure permanent protection of the valuable and functional riparian corridors on their property.  A riverfront property guide and workshops will be developed to help landowners understand the importance of riparian corridors and how they relate to the health of the stream.  Funding from this grant will also help support a Project Manager and contract services for legal fees, land surveying and property assessments for the conservation easements. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, through the Department of Natural Resources, has provided partial funding for this project under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.  The Department's Water Protection Program will administer the grant funds.  The Department is committed to working closely with communities and businesses to assist with funding efforts that improve water quality in Missouri as well as provide a financial savings.

For more information, contact the Department's Water Protection Program at P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102 or call 800-361-4827 or 573-751-1300.

###