Since James River Basin Partnership's inception in 1997, our volunteers, members, and staff have committed through action, education, and research, to preserve and protect water quality within the James River basin and our beautiful Ozarks landscape. 



We are a grassroots, not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization working to improve and protect the water quality of the springs, streams, rivers, and lakes in the James River watershed which consists of almost a million acres of land in portions of eight counties.


In the late 1990’s, the water quality in Table Rock Lake began to decline. A major algae bloom occurred in the James River arm of Table Rock Lake - disrupting local ecology, threatening tourism, and raising concerns about local health. The event prompted media attention and citizen action. Through a project of the Southwest Missouri Resource Conservation and Development, a group of passionate citizens formed our non-profit, the James River Basin Partnership, in 1997.  By August 1999, we became an autonomous grassroots organization, relying on grant funding, memberships, municipality support and donations from individuals and businesses.



Leading the organization is a core group comprised of the Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Executive Director, and support staff. The JRBP Board is comprised of dedicated volunteer members from across the region that represent the diversity of the James River watershed — county and city governments, professors, citizens, business owners, and other stakeholders. 


Our financial backbone is comprised of approximately 70% federal, state, and foundational grant funding, while the remaining 30% is supported directly through citizen donations, Business and Individual & Family membership, and fundraising events. We are proud to have overall support from our community and local businesses that are dedicated to protecting our waterways.


As the only southwest Missouri watershed not-for-profit offering membership, we are committed to creating a community of water quality advocates in our region that can come together through education, action, and recreation. Membership is a crucial portion of our non-profit's sustainable income and continuing viability.


Our dedicated volunteers take their passion and create local change. Our programs and projects, paired with our volunteers' ready-for-anything work ethic, allows us to fulfill our mission of protecting our water resources and provide quality environmental education to citizens within the James River watershed.

If you are actively seeking volunteer hours, whether as a community member, student, or business person, we will try to find an opportunity that fits your wants and needs.



In southwest Missouri, outdoor recreation brings visitors from all over the country - making the Ozarks a popular tourism destination. Many anglers, boaters, birders, and explorers dedicate time on the river to connect with our local resources and our region's unique flora and fauna. Locals enjoy our river for both excitement and fun, as well as escape and relaxation. Want to explore our basin? Check out the James River Explorer's Guide.



Just in the last three years, JRBP and our motivated volunteers have pulled over 38,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from our local rivers. Each year we find single-use plastics, metal, tires, televisions, furniture, appliances, lost toys, mattresses, and much more. Please consider joining us for one of our next trash clean-ups.

Basin stats

  • 931,112 acres of land

  • 300+ river miles

  • 563 springs

  • 95% of Southwest Missouri’s drinking water comes from groundwater

  • 3,163 sinkholes

  • 151 losing streams

  • 598 gaining streams

  • A portion of Springfield, Missouri's drinking water is sourced from the James River

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