Water flows through almost everything The Nature Conservancy does, often literally. No surprise there. Our mission is to “conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.” But sometimes even I can forget how far that extends.
TNC in Missouri has been working since its inception on the health of the rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands that spiderweb across the state. Given Missouri’s location in the middle of the Mississippi River Basin, the good and bad of what happens to water here affects people and ecosystems all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. Our task is to amplify the good and limit the bad. Simple, right?
Well, maybe not so simple in practice, but the increasing variety of our methods is encouraging. It seems like every year—sometimes every month—brings another tool for water conservation. Read on to learn about why we are getting into mitigation banking and how it can blunt environmental damage to water resources. Or see the way we’re supporting organizations that are implementing nature-based solutions in cities to reduce stormwater runoff in the Mississippi River.
Even encouraging more people to get out and enjoy the state’s rivers and streams can be a catalyst for conservation. I recently spoke to Roo Yawitz of Big Muddy Adventures on our podcast, It’s in Our Nature, about Missouri’s growing outdoor recreation scene and the enormous potential it holds for environmental and economic benefits.
For a lot of us, it was an early experience outdoors that sparked our interest in our natural surroundings. There’s just something about canoeing the Missouri River or casting a line in the cold, clear waters of the Current River that stays with you. Roo and his crew see it every time they introduce someone new to the river.
“I think the more people that care about the river, the better,” Roo said. “There’s plenty of room out there for everybody.” How could I not agree with that? If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from this work, it’s that our rivers need allies, as many as they can get.
Our most recent report below highlights some of the partnerships and projects underway. We were never going to be able to cover them all, but that’s good news. Thanks to your support, there are always more on the horizon.
Missouri State Director