Monitoring

Upper Missouri Waterkeeper is the only Montana nonprofit organization monitoring the breadth of the Upper Missouri River Basin for pollution.

Southwest and West-Central Montana’s waters and landscapes need a watchdog; we can’t always rely on government to be there.

Montana’s Dept. of Environmental Quality often fails to reduce permitted pollution, fails to pursue violators and, in the cases polluters are caught, often fails to sanction polluters.  Without meaningful, proactive assessment and action, serious threats to the health of our waterways more often than not linger and get worse.

Waterkeeper conducts on-the-water pollution patrols using a variety of watercraft, including kayaks, drift boats and even our trusty old pick-up truck.  These patrols can turn up otherwise unknown pollution issues such as unpermitted land use activities near waterways, improper agricultural practices and unsanctioned pollution discharges.  To aid in this effort we enlist a network of trained volunteers and work with local watershed groups, looking for illegal discharges, monitoring permitted discharges and investigating other evidence of pollution.

Our ultimate goal is to stop pollution before it enters Southwest and West-Central Montana’s waterways.

The Upper Missouri Waterkeeper

Waterkeepers are full-time, privately-funded, non-governmental advocates for an identified river, lake, bay, or watershed. They are recognized by their community, local government, and media as the voice for that particular body of water. The job of Waterkeeper is a challenging one, mixing elements f education, outreach, science, advocacy, fundraising and administration.

The Upper Missouri Waterkeeper acts as the eyes and ears of the public out on the water, monitoring Southwest and West Central Montana’s waters, investigating and educating the public on pollution issues, and creating practical strategies grounded in science that address local environmental problems.

Water Quality Monitoring Volunteers

Through our Volunteer Program we help train interested and motivated volunteers to monitor waterways in their community. Email us for more on how you can help.

Pollution Reporting

We report illegal pollution whenever our patrols find it.  Violations are investigated, documented and reported to the Montana Dept. of Environmental Quality.

Our staff maintain a citizen Pollution Hotline: 406.570.2202.  If you are on a waterway and see pollution or a something that looks fishy, take a photo or video and send it to us!