The Kansas River Watershed Enhancement Initiative The Kansas (Kaw) River watershed is one of the most vital, heavily populated, and environmentally threatened ecosystems in the State of Kansas. Run-off of herbicides from farmland, fecal coliform bacteria from livestock operations and municipal wastewater treatment plants, and sand from dredging operations present the greatest threats to the river’s ecology and water quality. The goal of the Kansas River Watershed Enhancement Initiative (KRWEI) is to facilitate the preservation, enhancement, and appreciation of the cultural and natural resources of the Kaw watershed through partnerships with grassroots organizations, citizens, and state and local government entities. This goal is being realized primarily through EPA’s support of, and participation in, the Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance (KVHA). This nonprofit organization has over 40 partners, including federal and state agencies, municipalities, universities, other nonprofit organizations, and private citizens.
Intro to KVHA
Kansas River Watershed Enhancement Initiative <ul><li>Alison Reber, Executive Director </li></ul><ul><li>Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance </li></ul>
Kansas River Junction City to Kansas City (170 miles)
Drains an area slightly larger than the state of Iowa Cedar Bluff Res, Wilson Lake, Kirwin Res, Webster Res, Waconda Lake, Keith Sebelius, Lovewell Lake, Milford Lake, Tuttle Creek Lake, Perry Lake, Clinton Lake
<ul><li>Consensus building approach to preservation </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperative of diverse perspectives & disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Grassroots public/private partnerships </li></ul>GOAL Build awareness of the cultural & natural resources of the Kansas (Kaw) River Valley
Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance <ul><li>The people of the Kaw Valley will maintain a strong sense of place and community. </li></ul><ul><li>The Valley will be a land of farms and families, of neighborhoods, towns and cities. </li></ul><ul><li>It will be a place where industry and business thrive; where natural and historical places are preserved; and where clean, healthy rivers and streams support aquatic life and offer recreational opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>People will build consensus for resource conservation and will promote responsible use of air, water, and land, while supporting a healthy economy. </li></ul>
The Gentle Wakarusa River Early postcards captured the calm serenity of the Wakarusa, with its tranquil pools, gently flowing current, rocky banks, and wooded shores…. By the early 1900s the Wakarusa was a favorite recreation area for Lawrence residents, with walking paths, picnic areas, boat moorings and favorite fishing spots. Finding a Common Language Quality of Water / Quality of Life
Kaw Valley Voices 1997 – 2001 Series of recorded interviews “oral histories” Traveling Museum Display Interviews Transcribed 2003 – present Storytech interviews of event participants
Community Heros Don’t dump that oil down the drain, Or all my efforts will be in vain, To keep our streams nice and healthy, You needn’t be smart or wealthy, Just think about your water before you act, And my clean water fantasy will soon become fact.
Community Cooperation Meeting the public on common ground….. <ul><li>Attitudes Towards Water, Water Quality, and Water Stewardship </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes Towards Land Use Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes Towards the Lake and its Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes Towards Government, Private vs. Public Need, etc… </li></ul>Creating a Watershed Community
Local Stream Teams work in tributaries feeding into the lake. Citizen’s have expressed interest in becoming more involved.
Wolf Creek, Johnson County Mission Valley Middle School
Shunganunga Creek, Shawnee County Most Pure Heart Of Mary, Topeka
Naismith Valley Creek, Douglas County Lawrence Broken Arrow Elementary
A developing creek, Douglas County Lawrence Free State High School
July 13, 1951 Lawrence Municipal Airport Photo by Lawrence Journal-World
What makes you feel safe? Things look clean. We have food to eat. We have water to drink. We can play outside. We know what’s going to happen. Lawrence 6 th Graders two weeks after the war with Iraq began
The Wakarusa River begins in Wabaunsee County, east of Eskridge, and joins with the Kansas River west of Eudora. The Upper Wakarusa Watershed is a KVHA special project area.
<ul><li>Flood Control Authorized in 1954 </li></ul><ul><li>Clinton Lake Authorized in 1962 </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriations Authorized in 1971 </li></ul><ul><li>$55 Million; 9 Million Cubic Yards of Earth Later…. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Flood protection for 156 square miles </li></ul><ul><li>Drinking water supply for +100,000 people </li></ul><ul><li>800,000 people use park facilities annually </li></ul>
Annual field crop production is estimated to be $19,993,499. Annual livestock/poultry production is estimated to be $9,750,317.
Visitors to Clinton Lake spent an estimated $17,134,000 in 2001.
Physical Setting <ul><li>Floodplain width varies from less than a mile to several miles </li></ul><ul><li>Hydrologic system is still adjusting including stream bank erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Soil erosion has reduced fertility resulting in increased use of fertilizers. </li></ul><ul><li>This leads to more runoff of phosphorus and nitrogen into the watershed and lake. </li></ul>
Water Quality Impairments <ul><li>Wakarusa River </li></ul><ul><li>Fecal Coliform Bacteria </li></ul><ul><li>Clinton Lake </li></ul><ul><li>Eutrophication </li></ul><ul><li>Nitrogen and Phosphorus </li></ul>
<ul><li>Assessments Reviewed </li></ul><ul><li>Taste and Odor Studies - causes & effects </li></ul><ul><li>Total Maximum Daily Loads(TMDL) - limits met </li></ul><ul><li>The Environmental Quality Incentive Program(EQIP) Projects - practices completed </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment Results </li></ul><ul><li>Lake water quality is being affected by excessive nutrient loading and sediment. </li></ul>WRAPS Development: Studying the Watershed
<ul><li>Single most effective action is </li></ul><ul><li>riparian restoration </li></ul><ul><li>to reduce stream bank erosion, sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus. </li></ul><ul><li>Next most effective action is </li></ul><ul><li>riparian protection. </li></ul>
Creating Community Dialogue Strands (through community interaction) <ul><li>Streambank Protection & Restoration </li></ul><ul><li>setback ordinances; targeted stabilizing </li></ul><ul><li>Land Use Considerations </li></ul><ul><li>aligning usage with erosion factors </li></ul><ul><li>Water Consumer Education </li></ul><ul><li>public perception doesn’t match reality </li></ul>
Building Community Awareness *Increase internal knowledge base for key people Short one on one visits with elected officials and support staff to create a “safe” situation for asking candid questions and exchanging ideas. In order to have meaningful dialogue, people must have a sufficient baseline understanding. *Increase internal knowledge base for journalists In-depth one on one visits improved their overall grasp of broad water issues and has strengthened media coverage. Targeting Education
Funding by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment through Section 319 Funding, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, the National Park Service, the City of Lawrence Public Works Division, and the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams.