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Big Muddy Sessions: "Are Chemicals Contaminating our Missouri River?"

7:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 9

presented by Carl Orazio, Ph.D, US Geological Survey

Bryant Cabin - Overton North Unit of Big Muddy NFWR (directions below)parkvilleoutfall

Missouri River Relief, Friends of Big Muddy and Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge are proud to announce that our June 9 educational program will feature USGS Environmental Pollution Chemist Carl Orazio, discussing studies on pollution found in Missouri River water, mud and fish.

The Missouri River has a history of being a dumping ground for waste for many decades. This reputation leads many to think of the river as a giant, polluted sewer, contaminated with agricultural, industrial and urban waste.

There has been concern about fish and sediments being contaminated with chlordane, PCBs, and other chemicals. Are these still a concern?  What are the trends of contamination over time? (photo of a power plant outfall near Parkville, MO, 2006)

Studying chemical contamination on such a large river system on the Missouri River is a tricky, overwhelming subject. There are so many potential sources of pollution, and many variables such as location, river levels, sediment and time of year.

The scientists at USGS have been studying many aspects of pollution on this massive river, each new study giving a window into the effects we are having on the water, sediment and fish of the river. carl orazio

From pollutants found in the flesh of fish to persistant contamination of sediment to the transient effects on water quality, USGS chemist Carl Orazio will give an overview of some of the problems that have been found on the Missouri River and what that means to river users and residents. And, importantly, are things getting better on this river we love and use?

Carl Orazio, Ph.D, USGS, is the Branch Chief of the Environmental Chemistry Branch of the Columbia Environmental Research Center. Click here to view some of the impressive studies and publications completed through this agency.

The talk, hosted by Friends of Big Muddy, Missouri River Relief and the Big Muddy NFWR will be held at 7 p.m., June 9, at the Bryant Cabin at the Overton Bottoms North Unit of the Big Muddy Refuge.

Named after J.C. Bryant, the original manager for the Big Muddy refuge, the cabin was acquired by the refuge in 2007 as part of a 500 acre parcel they purchased to add to Overton Bottoms North. It was built to be used as a hunting cabin by the former owners. However the term "hunting cabin" doesn’t do justice to this beautiful, 2,000+ square foot, three bedroom house with all hardwood interior paneling and a huge deck overlooking the Missouri River floodplain. It makes a perfect meeting place for Friends of Big Muddy and we are grateful to refuge staff for allowing us to use this facility for our programs.


From I-70  - take the Overton/Woodridge exit (exit 111 - the first exit west of the Missouri River). Head north. Take an immediate left on Highway 98. Go west seven tenths of a mile and turn right on Brady Lane (the first road to the right). In six tenths of a mile, Brady Lane curves ninety degrees to the right. Go straight on the gravel drive, going past the Loesing parking area and through the open gate. The lane follows the ridge around to the cabin. A map is on the refuge web site, and the Bryant Cabin is in the dark "closed area." Just ignore the closed area signs, as you have special authorization for these programs to enter the area.

All programs are open to the public. You do not need to be a member of either organization to participate.

We hope you can come and learn more about the Missouri River!

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