Lower Meramec River Source Water Protection Project

The project focuses on three subwatersheds that together comprise the study area for the Source Water Demonstration Project for the Lower Meramec River; Brush Creek watershed, Hamilton Creek watershed, and Fox Creek Watershed. Then TPL, with guidance from the TAT, used the Watershed Management Priority Indices (WMPI) module from the UMASS Watershed Forest Management Information System to develop maps. The WMPI quantifies the relative influence of different land uses and site characteristics on overall water quality.
Year Published2009
StateMissouri
Landscape ContextInland
Housing DensitySuburban, Rural
Funding TypeBoth (Public and Private)
Habitat FocusForest, Planted/Cultivated
Organizations InvolvedThe Trust for Public Land, The Open Space Council, United States Forest Service (State and Private Forestry), East-West Gateway Council of Governments, and Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region
ValuesWater Supply, Water Quality, Floodplains/Flood Prevention
Stakeholder InvolvementStakeholders were involved throughout.
Planning ProcessTPL, with guidance from a technical team, used the Watershed Management Priority Indices (WMPI) module from the UMASS Watershed Forest Management Information System to develop maps. The WMPI quantifies the relative influence of different land uses and site characteristics on overall water quality. For this approach, local land uses are categorized into three priority indices:

• The Conservation Priority Index identifies forests and wetlands critical for their role in supplying clean water;
• The Restoration Priority Index identifies agricultural and developed open space areas with a potential for adversely affecting water supplies; and
• The Stormwater Management Priority Index identifies where best management practices should be followed to prevent or decrease sources of nonpoint source pollution.

The WMPI methodology produces systematic patterns in each of the categories in relation to distance from water sources, slope, soil properties, and other watershed
characteristics. These maps highlight the best areas for land conservation, stormwater best management practices, and restoration attention in the Hamilton, Brush Creek, and Fox subwatersheds. These opportunities and others were examined during a five day strategy exchange with local and national experts. At the conclusion of the visit the outside experts developed a report and slide deck of recommendations and then the local experts and stakeholders met and selected specific steps for their own action plan.
Desired OutcomesThe Greenprint aimed to address for specific topics, as determined by local leaders: 1) Coordinating Stormwater Regulations, 2) Launching Education Campaigns, 3) Improving Land Conservation Efforts, and 4) Reducing Septic System Problems.  These were referred to as "strategy exchange topics."
What It AccomplishedThe TPL planning bridged a two year-long gap that enabled East-West Gateway to get some funding to develop a lower Meramec Watershed plan (completed 2012), which TPL is currently updating (scheduled for completion in 2017)  The plan is an EPA -9 Element plan designed to secure 319 funds for stormwater management, and will focus on protecting river/riparian buffers, channel stabilization, reducing septic system failures and reducing stormwater flows. Concurrenlty, the Great Rivers Greenway is acquiring small parcels as available.