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What pollutants are in the Missouri River and where do they come from?

Presentation by Carl Orazio, environmental pollution chemist

Local environmental pollution chemist Carl Orazio has worked on many studies attempting to quantify and understand contaminants in the Missouri River and its floodplain. He will give an overview of they types of pollution he has found.


Plastic pollution on the Missouri River is a visual symbol of the range of non-point-source contaminants also detected in the river.

Time and Place

Tuesday, June 7, 2016
7:00 pm

Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro
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Presentation by Carl Orazio, environmental pollution scientist

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

If you intend on coming early to purchase an amazing dinner at Les Bourgeois Bistro before the presentation, PLEASE call to make a reservation at: 573-698-2300 and…tell them you are with the Big Muddy Speaker Series!

Presentation is FREE and open to the public!

The Missouri River is the drinking water source for nearly half of Missourians. Although it’s considered a high quality source of water, the fact that the river drains 1/6 of the continental U.S., including both urban, agricultural and mining/oil production areas means there is a lot of potential for pollutants entering the system. Its size also means tracking where pollutants originate is extremely difficult.

The lower Missouri River drains urban, agricultural, recreational, and industrial areas which can be potential sources of various pollutants. Local environmental pollution chemist Carl Orazio will present an overview of historic and current chemical pollutants. Pollution of the Missouri River by certain chemicals has decreased drastically since the passage of the Clean Water Act.

Currently, the public is interested to know about “emerging chemical pollutants” such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, newer pesticides, as well as the endless stream of plastics they see littering the Missouri River. Carl will present an overview of these pollutants and discuss potential issues related to fish, wildlife and the public.


  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO
  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It’s the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in upstairs in the restaurant. The restaurant is no longer open on Tuesdays but the bar is! You are welcome to bring your own food or snacks.

The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport

is hosted by these wonderful partners.

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

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

The Big Muddy Speaker Series is partially funded by the Columbia Ecological Services Field Office (USFWS) and the Mo. Dept. of Conservation.