ST. LOUIS - In anticipation of the scariest of holidays, Environment Missouri today released the Top Ten Frightening Facts About the Missouri River, which details ten scary facts about the Missouri River and the streams that feed it. The short report also shows what we can do to make next Halloween a lot less terrifying for the Missouri River and those who depend on Missouri's rivers for drinking water, fishing, and recreation.
Environment Missouri Advocate Ted Mathys has the following statement:
"While the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween costumes disappear after October 31st, the very real, and very scary, problems facing the Missouri River are not going anywhere. Agricultural runoff, sloppy development, and industrial pollution are all haunting the health of the Missouri River and the waterways that feed it.
This Halloween, our Top Ten Frightening Facts About the Missouri River shows that in 2007 more than 11,000 pounds of pollution had been dumped into the Missouri River within the boundaries of our state; all but 18 of the original 161 islands in the Missouri River have disappeared like ghosts; and because of pollution from construction and development, commercial fishing harvests in the river have decreased by up to 80 percent.
And it's not just the Missouri River that makes us want to scream - the streams that feed the Missouri and provide us with drinking water are also under threat. Right now, two-thirds of streams in Missouri are at risk of losing their Clean Water Act protections because of several recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. Over 2.5 million Missourians get their drinking water from sources fed by streams that may no longer be protected by the Clean Water Act.
Right now we have a chance to improve the condition of the Missouri River and reduce the amount of pollution going into the waters that feed it, so that next Halloween the health of the river will be far less scary.
The Environmental Protection Agency can begin to restore Clean Water Act protections to many of the streams that feed the Missouri River and to the wetlands that keep it clean. EPA action can stop companies from dumping directly into our waters, threatening both the Missouri River and our health.
We cannot let the EPA get tricked out of protecting the Missouri River this Halloween. Rather, it is time to treat the Missouri and the streams that feed it to less pollution and restored Clean Water Act protections. To make this happen, Environment Missouri is calling on the EPA to take action now. We thank EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who has already done so much for protecting our waters across the country, but time is running out for us to end the witching hour and restore protections to the Missouri and all of our rivers, lakes and streams. By acting now, the EPA can protect the Missouri River for many Halloweens to come."