First-ever LMVP conference a success
Over 50 people took time on Saturday, March 29th to take part in the first Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program Water Quality Conference. The day included presentations on a number of topics, awards and an appreciation banquet for the volunteers. The event was a chance for volunteers to hear discussions concerning watersheds and lake ecology. What follows is a list of presenters, their talks titles, and a quick summary of how it relates to water quality.
Judy Allmon of Grow Native! presented Promoting Naturally Resilient Plants for Naturally Beautiful Landscapes. Native plants are adapted to the conditions in Missouri and therefore require less watering (conservation), pesticides, and fertilizers (potential nonpoint source pollutants) than non-natives. Native plants can also help slow the movement of water during a rain. This translates to less runoff and therefore less erosion problems that can have negative impacts on your lake. Along with these benefits to water quality, native plants can increase the beauty of your yard while attracting birds and butterflies.
Dan Downing from the University Extension Services presented Grassroots Comprehensive Watershed Planning. Lake water quality is determined by the activities that occur in the watershed. Long-term solutions to water quality problems require actions to be taken in the watershed. There are three lines of action that can be followed: proactive, reactive, and, no action.
Charles Laun from the Boone County Stormwater Task Force presented The EPA and Stormwater. An increase in the amount of rooftops, roads and parking lots means a decrease in the permeable surfaces within a watershed. This leads to an increase in the amount of rain water that will move across the surface instead of soaking into the ground. This increase in stormwater can have negative impacts on our lakes as the potential for erosion increases. Runoff from roads and parking lots can also carry pollution into our waterbodies. Limiting urban sprawl and leaving more permeable surfaces can help control the stormwater problems.
Dance Concepts Inc. presented A Single Drop of Water. The young ladies from this dance company performed a creative dance presentation about water and its connection to life. Education is the key to reducing nonpoint source pollution and this novel approach reaches out with a historical review of the Clean Water Act as well as tips on how individuals can become part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.
Jackie Seigal from GeesePeace of St. Louis presented GeesePeace: Humane Solutions for Problems with Urban Canada Geese. Goose-human conflicts have increased due to the overabundance of Canada geese in some areas of the state. GeesePeace promotes humane approaches to dealing with the problems. Solutions include population control through egg oiling, behavioral modifications and landscape modifications to make lawns less inviting.
Jack Jones of the University of Missouri’s School of Natural Resources presented volunteer data that revealed trends in lake water quality across the state. Water quality parameters can vary within a season in a lake, among years in a lake, and between different lakes in the state. These differences are due to a number of reasons including climate, soil type, and lake size and shape, though data suggest that it’s the way humans use the land that can have the greatest impact on water quality.
Becky Shannon from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources discussed the utility of data generated by LMVP volunteers. The LMVP has been in existence since 1992. During this time, the volunteers have helped collect a large amount of data regarding Missouri lakes. If not for the volunteer effort, this data would probably not have been collected. Besides helping the DNR track lake water quality, the volunteer data helps the state meet its requirements as set forth in the Clean Water Act.