News Release 168

Department of Natural Resources awards $331,068 to Jasper County Commission

Volume 39-168 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded $331,068 to the Jasper County Commission to implement a watershed management plan aimed at improving water quality the Spring River.

The Spring River Watershed Management Plan focuses on an area in and around the southwest Missouri city of Carthage. This area of Spring River is approximately 38.73 square miles. The primary objective of the plan is to reduce bacteria levels in the river to below the whole body contact level for recreational waters.

The project will target possible sources of bacteria pollution occurring from human sources, agricultural production and livestock operations. This will be accomplished by educating landowners, stakeholders and the general public about steps that can be taken to prevent such pollution; implementing such steps in urban, rural residential and agricultural areas of the watershed with landowners and stakeholders; and holding educational days and events for the general public landowners and stakeholders.

Stream riparian corridor and on-site wastewater treatment system cost-share programs will be made available for landowners to help install pollution prevention practices that will address the stream bacteria levels and other sources of pollution from stormwater runoff. The Jasper County Commission will also implement an educational program that includes stormwater pollution prevention demonstrations, stream team activities and storm drain stenciling to educate the citizens about the river’s water quality problems and practical solutions. In addition, stream monitoring and modeling will be conducted to determine improvements in water quality.

The commission will provide a match in the amount of $197,672. The remaining required match in the amount of $25,000 will be provided through the Department of Natural Resources’ Soil and Water Conservation Program through the Missouri Parks and Soils Sales Tax. The project is expected to be completed by April 14, 2014.

Partners in this collaborative effort include the Spring River Watershed Partnership, University of Missouri Extension, Jasper County Health Department, Jasper-Newton Environmental Taskforce, Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Southwest Ozarks Stream Teams and Carthage.

The Spring River Watershed encompasses an area approximately 2,271 square miles, including the southwest Missouri counties of Barry, Barton, Christian, Dade, Jasper, Lawrence, Newton and Stone. The river exits in western Missouri and travels through southeastern Kansas to Grand Lake O' the Cherokees in Oklahoma. Major tributaries within the watershed are the North Fork of the Spring River, Center Creek, Turkey Creek and Shoal Creek. Three segments of the Spring River are listed as impaired on the state’s 2010 303(d) impaired waters list due to bacteria. The stream is designated for category A, whole body contact recreation use.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region 7 has provided partial funding for this project under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The Department of Natural Resources’ 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. For more information, contact the Water Protection Program at P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102 or call 800-361-4827 or 573-751-1300.