“Pearls along the River – The Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge”

Published: April 25, 2013

Original Presentation by Tom Bell, Manager for the Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 11 separate units totalling approximately 16,000 acres located along the Missouri River floodplain between Kansas City and the St. Louis area. Using a passive management model, these “pearls on a string” include chutes, islands, wet prairies, bottomland forests, scour holes and lakes and areas that are allowed to flood in high water.

The St. Louis metro area has two units of the refuge, Boone’s Crossing and Cora Island, yet few people in the public realize this amazing resource is at their back door. Refuge Manager Tom Bell joined us for a presentation on the refuge, including the history, and overview of the refuge units across the state, plans for restoration projects in the refuge and what they’ve learned since the refuge started.

The refuge is supported by Friends of Big Muddy, an organization dedicated to helping the refuge accomplish their goals of restoration and improving visitor contact. Diane Oerly, the president of Friends of Big Muddy, also give a brief talk about the organization and how you can be involved.

Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge Units

big muddy refuge units

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Resources and Links

The Big Muddy Speakers Series in St. Charles

is hosted by Missouri River ReliefFriends of Big Muddy, Greenway Network, the Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge and the Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office (USFWS) with the following list of partners. All speakers are presenting for free. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place in Rocheport and Kansas City. Click here for the series homepage»

A special thank you to Greg Poleski of Greenway Network for making this happen!

Series Partners

Missouri River Relief
Friends of Big Muddy
Greenway Network
Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office (USFWS)
Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge
Big A’s Restaurant

and thank you to the Eastern Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club for partnering with us on this presentation!


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