Gov. Nixon announced top of the Ozarks Resource Conservation and Development received a $202,608 grant to improve water quality on Jacks Fork River
For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-260 For Immediate Release: Aug. 13, 2009
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, -- Gov. Jay Nixon announced the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded the Top of the Ozarks Resource Conservation and Development Inc. a $202,608 grant. During tough economic times, this infusion of grant funding will help protect citizens and the environment near Eminence in Shannon County through the Redesigning the Jacks Fork River Project.
The Top of the Ozark RC&D will use the grant to address elevated bacteria levels in the Jacks Fork River. The Jacks Fork River is a major recreation resource used for canoeing, fishing, swimming and trail riding. A 7-mile stretch of the river was placed on the state's 2002 303(d) list of impaired waters for excess fecal coliform bacteria. The Department developed a Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, to address the impaired section of the river. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to list impaired waters and develop a TMDL for all waters on the 303(d) list. The Department completed a TMDL for the 7-mile section of the Jacks Fork River in January 2004 and is available on the Department's website at www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/tmdl/2681-jacks-fork-r-tmdl.pdf.
The Department's TMDL data indicated there are several potential nonpoint sources of the fecal coliform bacteria in the Jacks Fork watershed. These sources include: failing or inadequate on-site septic systems, wildlife, land application of animal manure and poultry litter, grazing animals, urban development, horse trail rides and recreational use.
The Top of the Ozark RC&D will focus its efforts on developing a coalition to establish a watershed-wide trail map for horseback riding and best management practices on the trails. The project also provides for:
- Conduct feasibility studies for two private campgrounds to hook up to the Eminence wastewater treatment plant and assist two entities to install a recreational vehicle or horse trailer waste station in the Eminence vicinity. The studies will include cost analysis, minimal sitting assistance, contracts and other pertinent data.
- Upgrade two primitive latrines to commercial vault toilets by offering a 50 percent cost-share and install educational signage in the private campground selected.
- Assist and provide cost-share incentives to landowners to reduce impacts of horse and cattle crossings through fencing and riparian buffer establishment. Riparian zones contribute to the health of other aquatic ecosystems by filtering out pollutants and preventing erosion.
- Sponsor an annual water quality field day for fourth and fifth grade students at local school districts within the Jacks Fork River Watershed.
- Assist with river cleanups to remove trash and debris thrown into the river.
The Top of the Ozark RC&D and partners will provide a match contribution of $135,072 during the life of the project bringing the total cost of the project to $337,680. Contributing partners in this collaborative effort include Jacks Fork River Watershed Steering Committee, the National Parks Service -- Ozark Scenic Riverways, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and local Stream Team volunteers.
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.