Our Missouri Waters
2014 Focus Watersheds
During the past year and half, the Department of Natural Resources has been working through the pilot phase of its Our Missouri Waters. We have joined with many of you as our partners to begin or continue conversations about our efforts within the local communities of the Spring River, Lower Grand and Big River watersheds. With your help, we have made great strides in bringing into focus the shared vision for water resources within these watersheds.
The three pilot watersheds –Big, Lower Grand and Spring – will remain in focus during 2014. In addition, the department is expanding its focus to include the Salt River Basin, Meramec Basin and the Missouri River corridor as well as the Sac, Niangua and Upper Mississippi – Cape Girardeau individual watersheds. Following is a full listing of each watershed with its HUC-8 identifying number:
Missouri River Corridor watersheds
Independence – Sugar; 10240011; Lower Missouri – Crooked; 10300101; Lower Missouri – Moreau; 10300102; Lower Missouri; 10300200
North Fork Salt; 07110005; South Fork Salt; 07110006; Salt; 07110007
Meramec; 07140102; Big; 07140104
Spring; 11070207; Lower Grand; 10280103; Sac; 10290106; Niangua; 10290110; Upper Mississippi – Cape Girardeau; 07140105;
Our Missouri waters are as diverse as the varied landscapes they flow through. Missouri is blessed with natural diversity like no other state in the nation. Missouri’s flowing waterways and lakes are important to our quality of life in Missouri and play an essential role in the state’s overall health and economic well-being.
We have made significant improvements to our state’s water quality. We protect Missouri’s water resources by permitting and inspecting potential sources of pollution, at facilities throughout the state. Future improvements will require a new approach – one that looks at the whole watershed and all the potential sources of water pollution.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has begun an initiative to create a coordinated, holistic approach to protect water resources and preserve our Missouri waters. We’ve named this innovative statewide watershed approach Our Missouri Waters because water, like all of our natural resources, belongs to all of us. We all need to understand and protect our waters to ensure a positive future, and the department needs the help of citizens, landowners, communities, industries and local leaders for this effort to be successful.
We have a range of resources to help manage and preserve Missouri’s great watersheds, such as providing cost-share programs to farmers to support good soil and water conservation practices and providing financial assistance to communities and cities.
One of the keys to this approach will be managing our water resources at the local watershed level – where specific water resource management needs are best addressed. The watershed-based approach will also allow a common understanding of the roles, priorities and responsibilities of all partners and citizens within a watershed. With the diverse hydrologic and multi-water-related resources to manage, it makes sense to be able to tailor our activities to the unique challenges and opportunities specific to each watershed.
By coordinating the efforts of all the agencies and individuals who have an interest in the watershed, we can focus our staff and financial resources on priorities and on solving water resource problems.
The process may appear complex but the overarching goals are quite simple – streamline the department’s watershed planning efforts while increasing public engagement and improve targeting of resources to increase the benefits to Our Missouri Waters. Read more in the Our Missouri Waters brochure. Missouri’s Watersheds
The Department of Natural Resources selected the focus watersheds by evaluating all 66 watersheds throughout the state. When selecting the watersheds, the department examined concerns such as water quality, water quantity, high-quality waters for preservation and local stakeholder interest. Learn more about watersheds in Missouri.
- Big River Watershed - located in east-central Missouri and discharges into the Meramec River basin.
- Lower Grand River Watershed - located in north-central Missouri.
- Spring River Watershed - located in southwest Missouri.