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Missouri River: Where’s the Floodplain?

Presentation and discussion led by Brad Walker, Mo. Coalition for the Environment, and Caroline Pufalt, Sierra Club, Eastern Missouri Group

Brad and Caroline will lead a discussion on existing law that calls for improved habitat and floodplain capacity along the Missouri River and why funding for these programs has been slashed in recent years.

The Missouri River

Time and Place

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
7:00 pm

Big A's on the Riverfront
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Presentation and discussion led by Brad Walker, Mo. Coalition for the Environment, and Caroline Pufalt, Sierra Club, Eastern Missouri Group

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

6. p.m. Social Hour at Big A’s Restaurant
7:00 p.m. Presentation

NOTE – The St. Charles Speaker Series has changed to 7:00 p.m. 

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

Presentation is FREE and open to the public!

When the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project (BSNP – the project to channelize the Missouri River) was originally authorized by Congress, the design called for a 3,000 foot floodplain (distance between levees) along the Missouri River from Sioux City to Kansas City, with a 5,000 floodplain from KC to the Mississippi River.

As local levee districts and private property owners built their own levee system, there was no authority taken by federal or state governments to protect this designed floodway capacity. Later, when the effects of channelization on ecosystem function became clear, legislation was passed by Congress in 1986 and in 1999 under WRDA authorizing the Corps to create habitat by purchasing floodplain land from willing sellers to increase habitat and floodplain capacity

With this only partially completed, why is funding being slashed for these projects, including the Missouri River Recovery Program? Why was this floodplain never protected in the first place?

Believe it or not federal laws and projects should have provided us with both.

Brad and Caroline will use this history as the beginning of a discussion on how local groups can work for what the law already demands – more floodplain capacity and improved river habitat.

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.

Caroline is a long-time volunteer with the Sierra Club in Missouri. She also chairs a committee of Sierra Club volunteers in states adjacent to the Missouri River.


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.

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 and Mike Garvey of Greenway Network for making this happen!