Skip to content
Skip to navigation

River Relief

River Updates

May 8 - Big Muddy Speaker Series - St. Charles 2013

"Taming the Wild Muddy
A History of Change on the Missouri River"

Presented by author and historian Jim Denny

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

4:30 p.m. Free Paddle trip with Big Muddy Adventures!
6. p.m.
Meet at Big A's Restaurantgarylucymoon
6:30 p.m. Presentation
At Big A's Restaurant
308 N Main St. -  St Charles, MO
(directions below)

 PLUS! Special opportunity for a free paddle before the presentation with Big Muddy Adventures! See below for details.

As America explored, settled and learned to live with the Missouri River, it also forever changed the nature of this wild, western river. In one of the Big Muddy Speaker Series' most popular presentations, author Jim Denny uses historical journals of early river travellers, including Lewis and Clark, to conjure up the essence of the natural Missouri River.

(painting by Gary Lucy of Washington, MO. Check out more of Gary's historical river art at his gallery website:

The Missouri River as the first American explorers encountered it was a fickle, floody and dangerous place. Moving sandbars, collapsing banks and minefields of snags and debris made navigation on the river incredibly difficult. It was also a haven for wildlife, an everchanging creater and destroyer of a rich tapestry of habitat.willowmatrevetment

Looking at today's channelized river, it's tough to visualize the character of that wild river. Jim does a great job of digging into past accounts of the river, especially journals from the Lewis and Clark Expeditions, to describe both its untamed power and its sublime beauty and bounty. His descriptions of how the Army Corps of Engineers tamed the Big Muddy make it clear just what an amazing feat it was to control the Missouri River. (photo above: crews in 1929 stabilizing the banks with mats woven from willows. The willow mats would then get covered with rock laid by hand)

Read the rest of this entry »

May 8 - Big Muddy Speaker Series - Kansas City 2013

"Close Up on Clean Water"

presentation by Kat Logan Smith, Director of Environmental Policy for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

6 p.m. Social Hour
7 p.m. Presentation
At  Hickok's Grill
528 Walnut St. - Kansas City, MO (in the River Market),

The 40 year-old Clean Water Act aims to protect the “physical, chemical, and biological” integrity of our nation’s waters so our creeks, rivers, and oceans can thrive. For four decades Missouri has left nearly 150,000 miles of waters with insufficient protections to safeguard their health. At the same time, our waters are under increasing pressures from development, agriculture, and climate stress.

How can the Missouri River thrive when the creeks that feed it are unprotected? How can we secure our freshwater resources when 80% of our state’s waters are not held to Clean Water Act standards? How can we ensure that our children and grandchildren can enjoy healthy waters in Missouri?


left - all Missouri Streams; right - streams classified under Clean Water Act
graphic courtesy of Mo. Coalition for the Environment

katKat Logan Smith will give us a basic overview of the Clean Water Act, how the law can work to keep fish thriving, restore damaged waters and safeguard our highest quality waters. She'll review the Missouri Coalition for the Environment petition for full protections for Missouri waters and let us know how we can preserve our water heritage for future generations.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment works to protect and restore the environment through education, public engagement, and legal action.

Read the rest of this entry »

May 14 - Big Muddy Speaker Series - Rocheport 2013

"Location, Location, Location -
How Missouri River geography shapes restoration and management options"

presentation by Robert Jacobson, PhD, Chief of River Studies Branch, US Geological Survey

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

7 p.m. presentation
lower floor of the Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro 
in Rocheport, MO (directions below)

Presentation is FREE and open to the public! Come early to purchase a great dinner upstairs at the Bistro!

Natural Areas River Trip 10-23-10The past two years of extreme flooding followed by extreme drought in the Missouri River basin highlights the difficulties in managing and restoring this massive river system. Every decision made in Missouri River management seems to have repercussions that affect other uses or stakeholders along the river.

The Missouri River basin ranges over 23 degrees of longitude and 12 degrees of latitude, and in its breadth it encompasses tremendous physiographic, climatic, ecologic, and socio-economic diversity from the snowpack of the Rockies to the arid plains of the Dakotas to the moist river hills of the Ozarks' northern edge. 

This diversity promotes challenges to restoration and management. One size of policy does not fit well in all parts of the river. Robert Jacobson, PhD, chief of River Studies for the US Geological Survey, will provide an overview of the environmental geography of the Missouri River and an analysis of how the very location of the river effects restoration and management options along the mainstem from Montana to Missouri.

Read the rest of this entry »

April 10 - Big Muddy Speaker Series - Kansas City 2013

"Colter's Run"

presented by author Conger "Tony" Beasleyjohncolter

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

6 p.m. Social Hour
7 p.m. Presentation
At  Hickok's Grill
528 Walnut St. - Kansas City, MO (in the River Market)

Click here for flier (pdf)»

(directions below)

Presentation is FREE!

Please support our partner by coming early for dinner and drinks at this great local establishment! Happy Hour till 7:00

John Colter was a key member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He left the Expedition on its return trip to guide fur trappers. On this journey he was credited with discovering the area that became Yellowstone National Park (it was originally called "Colter's Hell"). He was later was captured by Blackfoot warriors. Stripped and told to run, he was the target of a “human hunt.”

Conger “Tony” Beasley will read from his latest work "Colter's Run" and discuss the legacy of Colter, who later settled near New Haven, MO, on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River.

painting on right copyright Gerry Metz.

Read the rest of this entry »

April 25 - Big Muddy Speaker Series - St. Charles

"Pearls along the River - The Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge"

Presented by Tom Bell, Manager for the Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge

NOTE: For this month only - SPECIAL TIME, DATE AND LOCATION. For our monthly presentation, we are changing the time, date and location to join forces with the Eastern Missouri Sierra Club. The Big Muddy Speaker Series will be Thursday, April 25 at Litzinger School (address and directions below) in conjunction with the Sierra Club meeting. In May we will return to our usual 2nd Wednesday at Big A's.

Thursday, April 25, 2013Jameson Island and Lisbon Bottoms

7:30 p.m. Presentation
At Litzinger School (in conjunction with Sierra Club meeting)
10094 Litzsinger Road at Lindbergh Blvd., Ladue, MO
(directions below)

Presentation is FREE!

The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 11 separate units totalling approximately 16,000 acres located along the Missouri River floodplain between Kansas City and the St. Louis area. Using a passive management model, these "pearls on a string" include chutes, islands, wet prairies, bottomland forests, scour holes and lakes and areas that are allowed to flood in high water.

The St. Louis metro area has two units of the refuge, Boone's Crossing and Cora Island, yet few people in the public realize this amazing resource is at their back door. Refuge Manager Tom Bell will join us for a presentation on the refuge, including the history, and overview of the refuge units across the state, plans for restoration projects in the refuge and what they've learned since the refuge started.

Read the rest of this entry » is created and maintained by Missouri River Relief, P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO 65205
Copyright © 2020 Missouri River Relief, photos copyright © their respective owners
Site designed and built by Josh Nichols.