O ZARKS W ATER W ATCH
Upper White River Basin Foundation
Promoting water quality in the upper White River watershed
To Foundation Trustees and Friends:
The past year has been a busy and eventful one
for the Upper White River Basin Foundation,
now doing business as “Ozarks Water Watch,” a
name we believe is both more descriptive and
memorable. The year has been one of To promote water quality
transition and change in the larger sense, with in the upper White River
the national and international economies in watershed through bi-
major recession, a new president and state collaboration on
administration in Washington and new research, public policy and
solutions and approaches proposed to address action projects in Arkansas
numerous intractable problems. and Missouri.
In the Ozarks issues of water quality and
quantity continue and although we have not Vision
been directly affected by the larger national
concerns, they have had some impact locally, With your help we will
particularly on funding support for important work together to make
environmental projects. Nonetheless the past Beaver, Table Rock,
year has been one of significant Taneycomo and Bull Shoals
accomplishments which are reviewed in this
lakes the four cleanest
manmade lakes in North
The vision and mission of the Foundation have
continued to guide our efforts and projects, as
well as support the priorities identified by the
Board of Trustees in 2007. These priorities
include work to:
• Monitor and report on water quality in
the basin area;
• Serve as an advocate on policy issues which affect water quality and watersheds
through regulatory and legislative means;
• Emphasize public information, education, promotion and communication on
water quality issues;
• Support, encourage and capitalize on allied watershed groups working for
common purpose; and
• Seek long term funding support for the Foundation and watershed work in the
This report summarizes the projects and activities we have undertaken to address these
priority issues. We also take a look ahead to challenges and projects which will be
occupying our attention during the next year. I hope you will find this report interesting
and would invite your comments about the work we are doing to sustain water quality in
Ozark rivers, lakes and streams.
John E. Moore, Jr.
Monitor and Report on Water Quality
• The water quality monitoring project, begun in 2007,
continued in 2008-09 with the first “Status of the
Watershed” report issued in October, 2008. The first
report was based on data from sites depending on a
number of quality parameters. A copy of this report is
available on our website.
• Monitoring work has continued with stream surveys of macroinvertebrates
conducted during the winter months. The analysis of the samples taken is now being
compiled and will be included as a second dimension of water quality in the Status
of the Watershed report to be published this fall. This work is being completed
through contracts with Missouri State University and the University of Arkansas.
• A third dimension of water quality based on the geomorphic evaluation of stream
sites in the region is now underway and will also be incorporated in this fall’s Status
of the Watershed report. The studies of river geomorphology are being done through
contract with Missouri State University.
Serve as an Advocate on Policy Issues which affect Water
Quality and Watersheds
• The Foundation, through the leadership of its Board of Trustees, focused the
importance and need for a cooperative agreement between Arkansas and Missouri,
the two states in the upper White River basin, on issues involving water quality and
quantity in shared watersheds. Working with the governors and the directors and
staff of the natural resource agencies of the two states, an agreement was drafted,
refined and agreed upon. Governors Beebe and Blunt from Arkansas and Missouri
met in Springfield in November, 2008 to sign this significant agreement.
• The Foundation assisted in planning and conducting the annual Congressional Water
Watch Conference held in Bentonville, Arkansas in April, 2009. This conference,
hosted by Congressman John Boozman from the Arkansas’ 3rd District and Roy Blunt
from Missouri’s 7th District, addressed a number of important water resource issues
in the upper White River region and brought a collaborative approach to
communication and planning.
• The Foundation has supported through consultation, advocacy and involvement the
regional planning efforts of the Tri-State Water Resource Coalition to assure an
adequate supply of quality water for domestic and industrial use in the Ozarks
region. Because the long term solution has not yet been identified, this will be an
ongoing public policy issue.
• The Foundation completed a draft of a model septic ordinance which would allow
decentralized (clustered) wastewater treatment systems in lieu of on-site septic tank
systems. This draft has been sent to county officials where such systems are not
currently permitted and is being reviewed for possible adoption.
• The Foundation serves actively on the legislative affairs committee of the Branson-
Tri-Lakes area and has served as a resource for area legislators on both water
quality and education issues. The Foundation also offered policy comments on
legislative issues relating to the Arkansas Department of Fish and Game.
Emphasize Public Information, Education, Promotion and
Communication about Water Quality Issues
• Although the official name of the organization continues to be the Upper White River
Basin Foundation, the Board elected to do business as “Ozarks Water Watch,” a name
we believe will be both descriptive and memorable and assist in communicating
water related issues more effectively.
• The Foundation conducted a scientifically based survey of public opinion about
water quality issues in the Ozarks in the early fall, 2008. The results of this survey
were shared widely and provide a base line for future surveys. The survey results can
be accessed on the Foundation’s website.
• The Foundation made major presentations at two regional water conferences during
the year, serving as the keynote for one and the wrap up for the other. Presentations
on water quality issues were made to a dozen other groups and organizations
during the year.
• Prepared and distributed via email a weekly newsletter including a regular column on
various issues related to water quality and the environment as well as links to
current news articles on these topics. This newsletter is distributed to some 600 key
influentials in the region and has resulted in regular positive feedback. Current and
all back issues are accessible on the Foundation’s website.
• The Foundation has undertaken the compilation of a generic version of the Kings
River Watershed Partnership’s excellent publication entitled “The Landowner’s Guide
to Streamside Living.” Publication is expected by the fall with sufficient copies to
distribute through watershed organizations to streamside land owners in the region.
• In February, 2009, the Foundation was recognized by the Conservation Federation of
Missouri as the “Conservation Organization of the Year.”
• In cooperation with the Beaver Water District, the Foundation is developing public
service announcements to be shown on local television stations to make viewers
aware of threats to water quality and what they can do to help rivers and lakes clean.
Support, Encourage and Capitalize on Allied Watershed Groups
Working for Common Purpose
• During the past year the Foundation completed its involvement with the Water
Quality Improvement Project’s (WQIP) work on water resource issues in Southwest
Missouri. Previously the Foundation had completed a study through this project
about local and county building and development codes’ accommodation of low
impact development concepts. This report, as well as the video on the WQIP project
entitled “H2Ozarks,” is accessible on the Foundation’s website.
• The Foundation convened six regional watershed organizations in preparing a
collaborative proposal to the Royal bank of Canada’s Blue Water Project. This
proposal for a half million dollars was submitted by the Foundation for a
collaborative project that would involve three states. Regrettably the proposal was
• The Foundation has participated actively in the meetings of the Policy Advisory
Group for the Beaver watershed management planning study conducted by the
consulting firm Tetra Tech. The report of this study will be issued in the late summer
with the first recommendation that a new watershed organization be established to
implement other recommendations and plans contained in the report. The
Foundation is assisting in planning the establishment of this new watershed group.
• The Foundation has maintained active networking relationships with other watershed
groups and organizations having similar interests throughout the region, providing
assistance and support where possible.
Seek Long-Term Funding Support for Foundation and
Watershed Work in the Ozarks
• During the year the Foundation completed the
Stewardship Ozarks challenge by the Community
Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO), the organization that
manages our endowment funds, and raised an
additional $100,000 for the endowment which was
matched by CFO. A second smaller challenge of $5,000
was also successfully matched.
• The Foundation completed the final report for
the grant received in 2008 from the Coover Foundation
in the amount of $38,800 in support of the water
quality monitoring project.
• The Foundation pursued the “Cardboard for Conservation” project initiated during
early 2008 which involved the collection and recycling of corrugated material.
Although there was interest in the project, the economic recession and related drop
in worldwide demand for corrugated material resulted in market values falling
precipitously. The Foundation shifted its support to plans for a single stream
recycling program initiated by Allied Waste Management announced at a news
conference in April, 2009. The Foundation continues to work with Allied in a
supportive role with a future possibility to participate in revenues when markets for
• In order to obtain funding support to continue the water quality monitoring project,
the Foundation initiated the “Water Watch Alliance,” seeking memberships support
from local governments, institutions and businesses.
Prospects for the Coming Year
Americans have a propensity to look to the future optimistically with expectations that
things will get better as growth and development occur, as technological marvels bring
new conveniences and as prospects for increasing standards of living and lifestyle
continue. Although there is growing awareness that current trends in resource use and
consumption cannot always continue, the historical outlook for a bigger and better
future, despite current economic conditions, still resides in the national psyche. The
understanding of “sustainable,” while widely discussed has yet to root in our collective
Water and many energy sources are not inexhaustible. They are here for us to use and
enjoy and to serve as a foundation for further economic development. But we need to
understand them as resources to be sustained, to be used wisely so they can support
those who come after us. And so keeping our water resources, our rivers, lakes and
streams, clean and suitable for every desired use, is a never ending task. We generally
have not appreciated the value of water, cheap today as commodities go, nor will we
likely until, as Ben Franklin observed, “the well
Our greatest challenge, then, looking down the
road, is to make people aware of the threats we
collectively bring to our water. Our challenge
is to promote understanding of threats and
measures to keep rivers and lakes clean. These
considerations will continue to define the
framework for the Foundation’s work. Within
this context the priorities we’ve established in
past years will guide us in the coming year(s). We look forward to our water quality
monitoring project continuing, although it’s cost of some $100,000 a year will be
difficult to sustain. We are working on this funding challenge right now with the Water
Watch Alliance and other funding initiatives. This issue will likely occupy considerable
time in the coming year.
The Foundation has special strengths in its policy advocacy role, as evidenced in the Bi-
State Agreement between Arkansas and Missouri the Foundation helped deliver. We
expect to be a strong voice on matters of public policy involving water quality in the
Ozarks region in the months ahead. Our education and public outreach will be another
continuing priority occupying time and attention as we work to heighten awareness and
understanding of important water issues.
The Foundation’s geographic area of interest includes a large measure of the Ozark
highlands which drain to the upper White River, now contained in four major reservoirs.
There are at least a half dozen organizations with a primary focus on water quality
operating in this region and the Foundation communicates and cooperates with them
all. Each organization has a special focus on a smaller watershed within the larger
region and each has its own set of projects and priorities. To the extent that these
priorities collectively can be coordinated, as education and outreach can be mutually
reinforced and as public policies can be supported with a unified voice, the collective
impact of these groups can be amplified. This issue constitutes a sensitive but
important challenge for the year(s) ahead.
Every one of the watershed organizations in the region, including this Foundation, has a
current challenge finding adequate resources to support operations and projects. This
challenge has been sharpened by the economic recession. We continue to seek sources
of sustainable funding for our work including opportunities to help fund worthy projects
by other organizations with similar missions. Attention to this issue will be on our front
burner in the months ahead.
Comments on this annual report would be welcome and further background on our work
can be obtained by visiting the Foundation’s website at whiteriverbasin.org.
Statement of Financial Position
As of December 31, 2008
Cash and cash equivalents $211,069
Total current assets 211,069
Leasehold improvements 3,041
Furniture & fixtures 838
Computers & software 9,299
Total fixed assets 13,178
Accumulated depreciation (6,950)
Net fixed assets 6,228
Investment securities 928,960
Total Assets $1,146,257
LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS
Accounts payable $10,380
Credit card payable 434
Total current liabilities 10,814
Unrestricted net assets 502,995
Permanently restricted net assets 632,448
Total net assets 1,135,443
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS $1,146,257
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Herschend Family Entertainment
Co-owner and Co-founder of Herschend Family
Martin MacDonald—Vice Chairman
Bass Pro Shops
Director of Conservation and Youth Development for
Bass Pro Shops.
President of Drury University and Executive Director of
Drury’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and
Paul Carter, Environmental Testing Group, Inc.
President of Environmental Testing Group, Inc.
Leon Combs, Beaver Creek Publishing
Former owner of Sanford-Brown College and owner of
Beaver Creek Elk and Cattle Ranch.
Alan Fortenberry, Beaver Water District
Chief Executive Officer of Beaver Water District.
Jack Herschend, Herschend Family Entertainment
Co-owner and Co-founder of Herschend Family
Andy Southerly, Cargill Meat Solutions
Vice-President and General Manager of turkey
production for Cargill Meat Solutions.
John Morris, Bass Pro Shops
Founder of Bass Pro Shops.
Archie Schaffer, Tyson Foods, Inc.
Senior VP, External Relations
Joe White, Kanakuk Kamps
President of Kanakuk Kamps.
Ozarks Water Watch TM
Upper White River Basin Foundation
PO Box 6218 Branson, MO 65616
Phone: 417-334-7644 Fax: 417-334-7645