The James River Watershed-Based Plan is an effort by local organizations and individuals working to preserve and enhance the quality of James River and the creeks and springs that flow into it, collectively called the James River Watershed.The Plan is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
The Watershed-Based Plan will list potential projects and set goals for our communities and residents to help reduce the nutrient pollution that contributes to the River’s impairment. The ultimate goal of this Plan is to get the James River back within water quality standards and to remove the River from the 303(d) list of impaired waters.
Planning efforts in the past have focused upon sections of the James River watershed including the lower James River area, closer to Table Rock Lake, or Finley Creek, which flows into the James River near Nixa, MO. This current effort combines information, partners and projects throughout the James River watershed and will produce a comprehensive, whole-river approach aimed at addressing the many needs for restoration in the River and enhancing the many qualities found in this valuable community resource.
As part of the planning effort, a local public opinion survey of residents of the James River Watershed was done in September-October 2017. See results by clicking on the chart (right). This and other community input will help guide planning efforts.
The James River Watershed-Based Planning process will also include 9 parts. These are
required by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as the Department follows federal Environmental Protection Agency’s water quality protection guidelines for surface waters as the state program charged with guiding our local efforts.
These 9 parts to the Watershed-Based Plan process are paraphrased below:
1. Identify pollution causes and sources. 2. Estimate the expected pollution reductions once the projects are completed. 3. Describe projects and activities to reduce pollution. 4. Estimate technical and financial costs and needs. 5. Plan to inform and involve community in protecting their water resources. 6. Include a schedule or timeline for the completion of projects. 7. Identify measurable goals to help determining whether the projects and activities are working. 8. Set measurable standards to determine whether water pollution is being reduced. 9. Include monitoring activities in the Plan to help measure the effectiveness of the projects.
The James River Watershed Plan will increase the success of future water quality improvement projects by helping to determine priority areas where water quality protection efforts should be focused. The Plan will also fulfills some grant and funding source requirements as well as lists practical projects and education activities that a local population would support. It will assist other organizations and municipalities in water quality related efforts by providing insight into the sources of pollution, needed remediation projects and targeted goals for water quality improvement.
The Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 through a MO Department of Natural Resources grant to the Southwest Missouri Council on Governments provided partial funding for this project under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.