It is time for those in Platte County who have concerns about the natural waterways they live near to speak up. A series of meetings is offering the chance for anyone affected by any litter, erosion or water quality concerns in the waterways in the area to have their concerns heard.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is putting together a management plan for the Independence-Sugar watershed, which is a series of waterways and lakes that drain into the Missouri River. The area encompasses an area that includes eight counties in Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. Platte County and a small portion of western Clay county are both in the area. The waterways include the residential lake areas in Platte County of Lake Waukomis, Riss Lake and Weatherby Lake. It also includes Line Creek, Rush Creek and Brush Creek.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has enlisted the help of the Mo-Kansas Economic and Community Development Organization to help with gathering information and forming the plan. Rebecca Thacker, a community development planner at the organization says they are hoping to get groups, residents and government representatives interested in the bodies of water and streams in the watershed to come and contribute to the meetings.
“They know what quantity and quality issues they are having on a day-to-day basis,” Thacker said. “People who live by the river know the real issues and how it’s impacting them and their communities. They will have the best ideas of how to move forward.”
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The issues on the table which are already known problems in the watershed are some litter, sediment and erosion issues, soil loss, runoff and potential flooding areas. The watershed plan will put into place ways to manage safe water.
The plan is not as much about regulation as it is about putting together a best practices model for the area and bringing together ideas from people who are already helping keep the watershed healthy. Thacker says the plan is to make sure there is a safe and secure quality and quantity of water because so many places share the water from the Missouri River.
“It is really important to agriculture and tourism, two important sectors of our economy, but also for general quality of life. We have to keep everything in check if we want to keep a nice clean healthy watershed,” Thacker said.
April and May meetings
9-11 a.m. Platte County YMCA, 8875 Clark Ave., Parkville
6-8 p.m. Remington Nature Center, 1502 McArthur Drive, St. Joseph
9-11 a.m. Remington Nature Center, 1502 McArthur Drive, St. Joseph
6-8 p.m. Platte County YMCA, 8875 Clark Ave., Parkville
Those who are unable to attend the meetings, but would like to have more information or offer concerns can call Rebecca Thacker at 816-233-3144. There is also an Independent-Sugar Watershed community group on Facebook, which will feature recordings of the meetings.