MU Researcher Studying Hinkson Creek
"If you live in the watershed, we all, in one way, impact the stream whether we drive over it, using the roads that you take that are in the watershed, or just even our own lawns, they all do end up affecting the streams," Baumer added.
"It goes through Columbia, many of its sub-watersheds are at Flat Branch right there in downtown Columbia and right into Hinkson Creek. It's important in Columbia because it drains 60% of the water, 60% of the water that lands in the city limits ends up in the Hinkson Creek. I think that we're seeing that the water quality in the Hinkson Creek, especially south of I-70, is really deteriorating because of the growth. Just even at this micro-level, like in an individual's backyard, it's going to flow into the stream, and cause too many nutrients into the stream. And we know not just one person is overfertilizing."
She continued, "I want to be able to share this information with city government, county government, state government and, if I can, get the EPA interested on the federal level," said Baumer. "I know the Missouri Coalition for the Environment had called me two weeks ago, and they're out of St. Louis, but they say they're so interested in it that they for sure want to be able to utilize the information from it just for them to help improve streams. This information is going to empower people to be able to take this stream upon themselves and I think that is when we can start changing water quality. When people start changing sort of the way they do things themselves, then we'll see less going into the streams. I know the mayor mentioned that he would like to see a biking trail along Hinkson Creek."
Baumer plans to finish her survey by the end of this year.
"In 20 years I would like to see it improve, but my goal is to not see it degraded any more than it is," she said.
Reported by Rick Shaw