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“Whiskey is for Drinking, Water is for fighting” – Clean Water as a Public Trust

Presentation by Joe Bachant, retired research ecologist and water advocate

“Water is the new oil”. Joe Bachant will discuss the past and future struggles to maintain water quality, stream integrity and a sustainable public water trust.

The Missouri River

Time and Place

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
7:00 pm

Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro
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Presentation by Joe Bachant, retired Research Ecologist and Water Advocate

Tuesday, February 9, 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!

Joe Bachant retired in 2002 from a 30-year career as Resource Coordinator at Missouri Department of Conservation. As a Research Ecologist, a temporary role, he was instrumental in establishing the Missouri Stream Team Program.  He continues to fight for citizens’ rights to clean water and the importance of natural stream processes.

This will be an “old-fashioned stand up and talk presentation” according to Joe. Joe will share some of his history fighting for Missouri’s waterways, such as the citizen battle to keep dams from being built on the Meramec River, but will also focus on the future issues our water resources face in our state and the country from the Clean Water Act to water redistribution.

Some say “water is the new oil”. In an era of climate change, increasing population and continued development, we can no longer take for granted our abundant freshwater resources here in Missouri. Various states and entities are looking at the Missouri River as the solution to their water problems and these political and natural resource issues will only continue to get more complex.

Joe will be sharing his new idea: a citizen-driven petition to amend the state constitution to include waters of the state as a public trust. He’ll share his latest draft and invite comments and ideas on strengthening it.

Joe Bachant is a retired Research Ecologist with a 30 year career in the Missouri Dept. of Conservation. He was instrumental in establishing the Missouri Stream Team program. He continues working as an advocate for water and river resources and climate change issues. He was awarded the Life Time Achievement Award by the Missouri Stream Team program in 2014.


  • 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.

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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.