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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

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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


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.

Creating the Water Workforce of the Future Webinar

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources would like to share information with you about an upcoming webinar.

Water sector utilities are facing a number of workforce challenges to recruit, and retain, a motivated, and sustainable workforce. Register now to attend a webinar hosted by EPA on December 15th, where you’ll hear from two leading utility workforce leaders from DC Water and AWWA as they take steps to develop a truly sustainable workforce for their utility, and help other leaders across the water sector.

View the EPA flyer with more details.

Register online here.

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

National Recycling Coalition

EPA Announces New Funding & Resources on ARD!

Each November 15, our nation celebrates America Recycles Day, and this year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced several new funding and resources to advance recycling / waste reduction efforts, including:


Recycling Program Toolkit: This new interactive collection of materials can help states, territories, local governments, tribes, schools, nonprofit organizations, companies, and public-private partnerships create effective programs for recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, reuse, repair, and waste reduction. Materials in the toolkit can help communities increase participation in recycling programs and reduce contamination in the recycling stream, and include case studies, training materials and a resource on standardized terms.


Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Law Funding for Recycling & Composting: $100 Million dollars is now available to help build and transform solid waste infrastructure, manage materials to achieve a circular economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create cleaner, resilient, and healthier communities.

  • Political Subdivisions Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grants is for local governments for collection, transport, and processing for recovered, reused, recycled, repaired, refurbished or composted materials. Applications due Jan 16.

  • State and Territories Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grants is requesting Notices of Intent to Participate from states and territories by Dec 15.

  • Recycling Education & Outreach Grants for consumer education & outreach on waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and composting to increase participation, decrease contamination and more. Applications due Jan 16.

EPA is hosting webinars to share more about these programs. Register here.


*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


MDC seeking public comment on environmental assessment for public lake and stream access sites

Public can submit comments through Dec. 31.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is seeking public comment on a draft Generic Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding the public lake and stream access program in Missouri.

MDC strives to construct new, renovate, or relocate existing boating access areas on Missouri’s public lakes and streams in order to provide adequate access for recreational boating and fishing. MDC has used federal aid in Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) funds, which are administered through the USFWS, to construct and improve fishing and boating accesses on Missouri’s rivers, streams, and lakes since 1991. The SFR requires states to allocate 15-percent of their allotment for the acquisition, development, renovation, improvement, or operations and maintenance of boat accesses.

The purpose of this project is to aid the USFWS decision on whether to implement the EA to expedite and reduce the cost for a National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) review of some boating access project activities.

“Over time, new and improved boat accesses are necessary to help meet increasing demand generated by increased boat ownership and leisure time,” said MDC Fisheries Programs Supervisor Laura Ruman. “Accesses are frequently damaged during flood events and may require closure until the damage is repaired or the access is relocated.”

Ruman explained expediting the NEPA review process under this EA would allow for more timely repairs. New and relocated public access sites also need to be properly sited and protection of the environment needs due consideration when sites are developed and maintained.

The Draft Generic EA for Public Access Sites in Missouri can be viewed online at https://mdc.mo.gov/media/118586.

Comments should be submitted by Dec. 31 to Laura Ruman via email at Laura.Ruman@mdc.mo.gov or by mail to: Laura Ruman, Missouri Department of Conservation, 2901 W. Truman Boulevard, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

PHOTO: MDC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft Environmental Assessment of Missouri’s public lake and stream access program. The public can view the assessment online at https://mdc.mo.gov/media/118586 and submit comments through Dec. 31. Pictured is Berry Bluff Public Fishing Access on Lead Mine Conservation Area.

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.

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.

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


James River Basin Partnership  




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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