Hydrilla busJPG
Hydrilla busJPG

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Two men in a canoe. Photo Credit James River Basin Partnership

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Boy with Tree
Boy with Tree

Photo Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation

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Hydrilla busJPG
Hydrilla busJPG

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The mission of OzarksEnvironmentNews.com is to facilitate communication and to celebrate efforts and accomplishments among the environmental community of the Southwest Missouri Ozarks and to provide useful information to those who live in or visit the Region. Learn more...

Breaking News

Welcome to OzarksEnvironmentNews.com!  This is your virtual bulletin board – a place to share information and celebrate your events, your accomplishments, your projects as well as a place to find info about organizations of like-minded folks, cool places to go to experience the outdoors at its best, and resources offering data, information, expertise.  You are invited to share your news and enjoy the news of others! Got news? Report it to info@ozarksenvironmentnews.com   Please note: we make every effort to ensure accuracy in our website; however, we cannot be responsible for info garnered from sites other than ours. 

EPA NEWS - EPA Grant Announcements!

Click here to learn more!

Recycling Education and Outreach Grant Program - accepting applications till 1/16/2023
The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $30,000,000. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 25 assistance agreements under this funding opportunity, with at least one award per EPA Region. The minimum individual award floor is $250,000, and the maximum individual award ceiling is $2,000,000 for the grant period. This program is in alignment with the Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative.
> View full Request for Applications: (RfA): https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2022-11/EPA-I-OLEM-ORCR-23-02.pdf
> Upcoming webinars: https://www.epa.gov/rcra/recycling-education-and-outreach-grant-program#webinars
> Find out more: https://www.epa.gov/rcra/recycling-education-and-outreach-grant-program

Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program
The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grant program is a new grant program authorized by the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act and funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides $275 million for Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grants to support Building a Better America. This is allocated as $55 million per year from Fiscal Years 2022 to 2026 to remain available until expended. EPA was provided an additional $2.5 million in Fiscal Year 2022 funding to implement the program. The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling program provides grants to implement a strategy to improve post-consumer materials management and infrastructure; support improvements to local post-consumer materials management and recycling programs; and assist local waste management authorities in making improvements to local waste management systems.
> Grants for Political Subdivisions: https://www.epa.gov/rcra/grants-political-subdivisions
> Upcoming webinars: https://www.epa.gov/rcra/grants-political-subdivisions#webinars
> Request for Applications (RfA): https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2022-11/EPA-I-OLEM-ORCR-23-03.pdf
> State and Territory Grants, https://www.epa.gov/rcra/state-and-territory-grants
> EPA is accepting notices of intent to participate until December 15, 2022
> Upcoming webinars: https://www.epa.gov/rcra/state-and-territory-grants#webinars
> Find out more about both programs: https://www.epa.gov/rcra/solid-waste-infrastructure-recycling-grant-program



Grant Opportunity:
ReFED is excited to share that applications are now being accepted for the inaugural open call of the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund for food waste solutions. The Grant Fund seeks to support initiatives at a local, regional, and/or national level in a way that makes the solution financially viable for businesses while successfully reducing wasted food. Letters of Intent must be received by November 30, 2022 at 11:59 P.M. ET.
Click here to learn more!


fish don't want your meds.jpg

"Fish Don't Want Your Meds" was created by the Missouri Product Stewardship Council (MOPSC), a coalition of governments, businesses, and other stakeholders, and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), a national policy advocate and consulting nonprofit.


“People with unused medications in their medicine cabinets shouldn’t have to wait for a twice-yearly DEA take-back day to safely dispose of them,” said Angie Snyder, Chair of the MOPSC. “This campaign will help protect people and the environment.” 


“Missouri’s new take-back campaign is a great way to educate consumers about pharmaceuticals responsibility,” said Scott Cassel, CEO and Founder of PSI. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Missouri Product Stewardship Council to make sure all residents connect with these valuable resources.”


The Ozarks Headwaters Recycling & Materials Management District 2023 grant call is now open. Applications are due Friday, December 9th at 3pm.  Please visit our website for instructions and an application. You may share this information with anyone you think might be interested.  Click here for a bit more information.


Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Missouri Department of Natural Resources shares green tips for a tree-mendous holiday season

JEFFERSON CITY, MO,  NOV. 23, 2022 – ‘Tis the season to be giving. This holiday season, give a gift back to the environment by being mindful about how you celebrate. Americans typically generate the largest amount of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. As you plan your holiday events and gatherings, add a bit of “green” to your party theme. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources shares these tips to maximize your holiday cheer while also being environmentally friendly:

  • Think before you give. As you choose gifts for friends and family, consider making them yourself. Create homemade snow globes with old glass jars or fill them with cookie and cake mixes for a sweet treat. Repurpose meaningful t-shirts to make a cozy quilt.

  • Count your blessings. It’s estimated that more food enters landfills than any other single material in our trash. Adjust your recipes to fit the number of guests. This will leave less left-overs and reduce waste. If you do have food waste, compost as much as possible.

  • Have an extra-green Christmas tree. If you’re pining for a cut tree, shop at a local tree farm. Buying locally means traveling fewer miles, which creates fewer emissions for a healthier environment. Also, consider a Missouri-native potted tree that can be replanted outside after the holidays.

  • May your holidays be merry and bright. When stringing decorative lights, opt for LED, which have a longer life and use less energy than regular lights. Use a timer that automatically turns lights off and on.

  • That’s a wrap. When the parties are all over and it’s time to tidy up, save wrapping paper and bags for use on next year’s gifts. If you bought a cut tree, it can be chipped and used for mulch, or it can be turned into habitat for fish or other wildlife.

With a little creativity and planning, you can help alleviate unnecessary waste in our landfills, save money and have a tree-mendous holiday!

For more information on recycling, reuse and composting, contact the department's Waste Management Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401, or visit our website at dnr.mo.gov/document-search/green-tips-seasons-holidays-pub2993/pub2993.

Governor Parson Announces $410 Million in Community Water Infrastructure Grants

Governor Mike Parson today announced the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is awarding $410 million to help Missouri communities improve drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure as well as lead service line inventories.

"We knew this program was critically needed for communities across our state, and that's why we included it in this year's budget," Governor Parson said. "While we know more is still needed to upgrade our infrastructure and ensure reliable water resources for the next generations, these grants will leverage even greater local and private investments to help boost our competitiveness for economic development projects and ensure our communities in every corner of Missouri are finding success."

“We received approximately 1,000 applications requesting more than $2.4 billion in funding,” said Dru Buntin, director of the Department of Natural Resources. “We designed the specific scoring criteria to ensure that the limited funds available are awarded to projects in a way that maximizes the impact of those funds across Missouri - in communities both urban and rural, large and small.”

A ranked list, along with scores, of all applicants can be found here (Note: there are four sheets/tabs of data to the spreadsheet).

Funding for the department’s four competitive water infrastructure grant programs was made available through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery Funds. Applications were scored based on the applicant’s financial need, engineering capability, and necessity of the project. Given the limited amount of funding, this resulted in a highly competitive application environment.

Applicants, whether successful or unsuccessful, will receive a notification email from the State of Missouri’s ARPA funding portal detailing the status and score of their application.

The department announced the availability of $410 million for community water infrastructure grants in May. The application period closed July 14. The program was part of Governor Parson's Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Proposal to the Missouri General Assembly.

For more information about state ARPA funding, please contact the department’s Financial Assistance Center at DNR.ARPA@dnr.mo.gov or 573-751-1192.

Missouri 2022 Section 303(d) Impaired Waters List Public Notice

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is making available for public review and comment the proposed Missouri 2022 Section 303(d) Impaired Waters List. The Department has included the prioritization of waters for Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development as part of the proposed 2022 Section 303(d) Impaired Waters List. The public notice period begins October 13, 2022, and ends January 18, 2023. The proposed list can be found on the Department’s website: https://dnr.mo.gov/water/what-were-doing/water-planning/quality-standards-impaired-waters-total-maximum-daily-loads/impaired-waters.


Watershed Committee of the Ozarks



*Now is a good time to check out Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA).


Learn about Missouri Green Schools program https://meea.org/missouri-green-schools/


Ozarks Greenways

Missouri Department of Conservation

Honor Missouri conservationists with MDC awards:  The Missouri Conservation Commission and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) are seeking nominations of Missourians who make or have made outstanding contributions to conservation in Missouri for their Master Conservationist award and Missouri Conservation Hall of Fame award. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 31

MDC's Online field guide

Conservation Federation of Missouri

2023 Missouri Wetlands Summit, February 1-3, 2023  Lodge of the Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, MO


CFM and Missouri Department of Conservation are co-hosting the Missouri Wetlands Summit at the Lodge of the Four Season, February 1-3, 2023.


This summit provides an opportunity to listen to and discuss the history of wetlands in Missouri, the problems they have and are facing, as well as collaborate on ways to better protect and preserve our wetlands. We invite state and federal agency staff, public and private wetland researchers, engineers, managers, not-for-profit and nongovernmental organizations, hunters, birders, and any conservationist interested in helping shape the future of wetland conservation in Missouri. Early registration will open in November.


City Utilities Annual Report

*What's the Buzz About Pollinator Plots? Click here to find out!

*The new Springfield, Missouri 2022-23 Community Resource Guide is here


*Webinars: Click here for more information.
The Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) has secured dates and locations for several native plant and seed sales in 2023. Additional sales may be added to the list in the future (possibly at Mother's Brewing in Springfield, Bonebrake Center in Salem, Meramec State Park near Sullivan, and/or other locations).  SAVE THE DATES
Saturday, April 29, 2023 - Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield, MO, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 16, 2023 - hosted with the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, Watershed Center, Springfield, MO, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.













VITAL FARMS Check out what's happening at Vital Farms.


James River Basin Partnership  


MPF Job Announcement: Prairie Stewardship Assistant
MPF wishes to fill a seasonal prairie stewardship assistant position, with hours ranging from 24 to 40 hours a week depending on the season. This position entails work in the field with no reporting to an office. Given the location of MPF's prairies, applicants should be based in the Springfield or Joplin areas, or in Lawrence, Dade, Benton, St. Clair, Barton, Vernon, Lawrence, Polk, or Hickory Counties.
The Prairie Stewardship Assistant will work with and under the supervisor of MPF's Director of Prairie Management to identify and treat non-native, invasive herbaceous plants, identify and control invasive woody growth, and assist with prescribed burning preparation and execution.
MPF will accept applications through December 31, 2022. Learn more about this job opportunity here.

The people of Southwest Missouri are known for their ability to work together to solve problems.  Communication is a critical component of those efforts. All advocacy work takes a toll on its warriors – we all need to celebrate our successes.


OzarksEnvironmentNews.com, created by Barbara Lucks, is a vehicle for both of these important components of a successful effort – communication and celebration.

Barbara Lucks grew up on a family owned and operated resort at the Lake of the Ozarks.  Her father built the resort in 1932, just as the Lake was filling. She grew up with a love and respect for everything outdoors and of nature.  Following graduation from Missouri State University, she stayed in Springfield and returned to a familiar pursuit – a career in corporate-level hotel management.  In 1994, she joined the City of Springfield as the Materials Recovery/Education Coordinator and was instrumental in positioning Springfield as a regional recycling hub.  She left the City in 2016, as the City’s first Sustainability Officer, to go into private consulting. She has an extensive resume – both professional and as a community volunteer leader.

Got news?  Let us know!


Subject Line: Ozarks Environment News

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Nine Tips to Reduce your Environmental Impact this Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving is an exciting time of the year where family and friends all gather around a full table of fresh foods to share gratitude for things they are thankful for in their life. Let’s give thanks for the abundance our natural environment provides. Here are some tips to give back by reducing your impact.

Use public transportation or carpool. If are planning to travel this Thanksgiving, make sure to use public transportation or carpool to minimize carbon emissions and be able to skip out on crazy holiday traffic.

Incorporate environmentally friendly recipes. Substituting meat for fruits, vegetables, and grains can reduce carbon emissions associated with your food. You can try to go turkey-less this holiday a vegetarian substitute. Or, if you keep the turkey, try vegetarian and vegan sides at this link here.

Shop local and in season foods. Having a fun outing with family and friends to the local farmer’s market to purchase local in season foods, limits the carbon emissions associated with the journey the food takes before it makes its way on your table.

Store leftovers in reusable containers and cook only what you need. Rather than using single-use plastic bags, tin foil or plastic wrap, store food in reusable containers to help reduce waste generation. Also, make sure to cook only what you will be able to eat to minimize food waste.

Turn down thermostat and lights off when gone. If you are traveling away from your home, make sure to turn down your thermostat, unplug phantom loads, and turn off the lights so your home is not consuming unnecessary energy.

Compost Food Scraps You can put all of food scraps and other compostable material in your own homemade compost. There are lots of fun DIY composting ideas to try and composting food scrapes minimizes energy needed to process your waste.

Make no-bake desserts. Having your oven on uses energy and creates emission. This year you can mitigate this by making no-bake desserts that don’t require the oven to be tasty. Here is just some recipes to try.

Skip Black Friday shopping. Instead of rushing out with the crowds the following day, skip the crazy shopping fest and make homemade gifts this year or purchase handmade gifts from local artist.

After Thanksgiving, make sure to use LED holiday lights. To save energy and reduce emissions, put up LED holiday lights instead of others. Also make sure to have the lights on a timer so that they are on only when they need to be.