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Can Anyone Explain to Me Why We Subsidize Barges?

Presentation by Brad Walker, Rivers Director for Mo. Coalition for the Environment

Brad Walker will explore the public benefit of the Inland Waterway System, reveal what has been its environmental impact, and finally compare these costs and benefits of barge transport with its major competitor– rail.

The Missouri River

Time and Place

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
6:30 pm

Big A's on the Riverfront
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Presentation by Brad Walker, Mo. Coalition for the Environment

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015

4:30 p.m. Free Paddle trip with Big Muddy Adventures! (details below)
6. p.m. 
Meet at Big A’s Restaurant
6:30 p.m. Presentation

At Big A’s Restaurant (in the back room)
308 N Main St. –  St Charles, MO
(directions below)

The management and engineering of the Missouri River, and the entire Inland Waterway System (IWS) it is a part of (of which the largest part is in the Mississippi River watershed), is driven in large part by the needs of the navigation industry.This has real effects on the ecology and hydrology of the river and the on the communities that live along it. And large public costs for infrastructure maintenance and upgrading.

For the Missouri, river flows are managed through the system of dams and reservoirs to boost late summer flows, and lower river itself has been engineered and armored to maintain a 300 foot-wide and 9 feet deep navigation channel.


A comparison of the infrastructure costs paid by the railroad and river navigation industry.
Provided by Missouri Coalition for the Environment

Brad Walker, Big Rivers Director of the Mo. Coalition for the Environment, will explore the public benefit of the IWS, reveal what has been the environmental impact of the IWS, and finally compare these costs and benefits of barge transport with its major competitor– rail.

Prior to his work in the conservation and environmental sector Brad Walker worked for over 20 years in the construction industry, primarily performing construction management for large wastewater treatment plants in the western US. He then spent two years in Jamaica in the U.S. Peace Corps. For the last nine years he has worked on river issues on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Brad has a B.S in Civil Engineering and a M.A. in Geography.

Free Paddle Trip with Big Muddy Adventures!

Join expert Missouri River guide Mike Clark of Big Muddy Adventures before the presentation for a up and downstream paddle through downtown St. Charles on the Junebug canoe. Space is limited – PLEASE REGISTER on the Greenway Network website.

Here’s the link to register – fill out your name and the month you want to join the paddle trip: www.greenwaynetwork.org/get-involved/educational-events/big-muddy-speaker-series-paddle-registration.php.

This opportunity brought to you by the generosity of Greenway Network and Big Muddy Adventures. 



To Big A’s on the Riverfront, our host for the Speaker Series.

To get there from I-70

  • Take I-70 to exit 229B – the 5th St. Exit
  • Merge onto 5th St. headed north toward St. Charles.
  • After about 1 mile, turn right on Monroe St.
  • Turn left onto N. Main St.
  • Big A’s will be on your right (308 N. Main St.) Additional parking is available in the rear.
  • View on Google Maps.

Resources and Links

Dig deeper for more info on this topic

Some related articles from Brad Walker’s River Blog

Other Views

The Big Muddy Speakers Series in St. Charles

is hosted by these wonderful partners:

All speakers are presenting for free and Big A’s is sharing the space for free! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Rocheport and Kansas City.

A special thank you to Greg Poleski of Greenway Network and Mike Clark of Big Muddy Adventures for making this happen!