Environment Missouri, a state environmental advocacy group, kicked off its campaign today by calling on state legislators to take action on what they say are $400 million worth of back-logged repairs to state parks.
The organization says that state parks are crucial to the economy, bringing an average of 18 million visitors a year, and providing over 14,000 jobs.
Parks are currently funded by (bear with me) half of a one-tenth-of-one-cent sales tax, a tax voters have continued to renew over the years. But Environment Missouri thinks that it’s not enough.
A new report from Environment Missouri presents data on U.S. federally-declared weather disasters from 2006 to 2011, and says climate change will make extreme weather events like droughts and storms more common – and more severe.
State advocate for Environment Missouri, Ted Mathys, says 2011 was a particularly bad year for extreme weather in Missouri and across the country.
Ted Mathys, state advocate for Environment Missouri (at podium) and other environmentalists urged the National Park Service to protect the Current River in Missouri during a press conference at St. Louis' City Hall on Dec. 13, 2011.
Credit (Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)
Canoes float down the Current River.
Credit (Greg Iffrig/L-A-D Foundation)
Horseback riding is a popular activity in the Ozarks, but horses' waste has been linked to high E. coli levels in the Jacks Fork, the main tributary of the Current River.
Credit (Mark Morgan/University of Missouri)
Heavy use by ATVs and other vehicles has eroded access trails along the Current River.
A new report released today by Environment Missouri shows power plants in the state produce more airborne mercury than 46 other states.
The report, which uses data from the Environmental Protection Association's toxic inventory release, found that of the nearly 4,000 pounds of mercury that Missouri's 17 coal-fired power plants released in 2010, more than 70 percent came from four plants owned by Ameren Missouri.