LOWA Mission
The Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance (LOWA) will preserve, protect,
and improve the Lake of the Ozarks watershed, its waters and natural
resources while maintaining our economic, social and environmental health.
LOWA Mission
Water Quality
Maintaining the health of Lake of the Ozarks requires us to recognize and
address not only the current, but also the future challenges facing the Lake.
Water Quality
LOWA coordinates efforts between local governmental entities, such as
municipalities and homeowner’s associations, and county and state
government to bring sewer systems to the Lake.
Lake Safety
Safety is the first priority. LOWA developed the Designate a Captain Program
to encourage the boat captains to stay sober while piloting their vessels.
Lake Safety
LOWA conducts numerous programs teaching property owners and schoolchildren
how vital they are in protecting this amazing area for generations to come.
Low Impact Landscaping (LIL) minimizes the deleterious effect of water run-off into
the Lake of the Ozarks by incorporating various techniques of landscaping.
Keep the Lake of the Ozarks clean by recycling materials
such as glass, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans.

Press Release

Work Begins at the Lake of the Ozarks Community Bridge

Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance (LOWA) announces a new project to begin Tuesday, February 4.  LOWA’s mission is to protect the water quality of Lake of the Ozarks for the benefit of residents, visitors, local businesses, and wildlife.  Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) in conjunction with the Region 7 Environmental Protection Agency have awarded LOWA a new grant which will improve water quality in the Lake. 

Since the completion of the Community Bridge (toll bridge) in 1995, the shoreline on the peninsula under the bridge on the Southwest side has eroded significantly.  In some places, the shoreline has receded more than 51 feet due to continual wave action from boat traffic and wind.  This photo shows where the shoreline used to be in 1995, in 2004, and in 2012.  Approximately 3.5 feet of shoreline is lost every year.

Where did this lost shoreline go?

The second photograph shows the soil sediment entering the water, and with it an estimated 200 pounds of phosphorus every year.  That’s 3000 pounds of phosphorus over the fifteen years LOWA has been monitoring water quality throughout the Lake.  Why be concerned about phosphorus?  Phosphorus is plant food and too much can cause algae blooms.  Phosphorus also contributes to the growth of bacteria.  In addition to concerns about phosphorus, soil in the water smothers fish habitat, diminishes water quality, and interferes with the enjoyment of using the Lake for recreation. 

In the next few days, the public will notice a new project beneath the bridge.  Rip Rap will be installed along the shoreline to prevent continued erosion.  After a competitive bid process, a contract for the work was awarded to One Source Services.  The project is entirely funded by the DNR grant and includes water quality assessments before and after the installation of Rip Rap.

Rip Rap is an effective means of preventing soil erosion, thereby contributing to clean, healthy lake water.  Soil erosion is the number one polluter of inland waterways in the country.  Stopping it is one way Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance contributes to keeping our Lake healthy.  The Lake is an entertainment, recreation, and economic resource in this area.  It’s protection is the mission of LOWA, a not-for-profit organization.


 By Andrew Havranek | Posted: Fri 4:40 PM, Feb 07, 2020  | Updated: Fri 4:53 PM, Feb 07, 2020 | KY3.com

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — More than 50 feet of shoreline has washed away near the Lake of the Ozarks Toll Bridge.


CG: Preventing Erosion | Lake of the Ozarks (30-35)
CG: Chris Rahmoeller | Sales Manager, Rock Works (57-103)
CG: Scott Ritchie | Manager, Rock Works (121-127)>

Nearly three-and-a-half feet of shoreline under bridge washes away every year.

“When it rains, the lake gets a little bit muddy looking, cloudy,” said Donna Swall of the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance. “Or, if you have wave action whether it be from a boat, the wind, weather, it’s going to erode soil away from the bank.”

That soil can cause a lot of problems in the water.

“It becomes a table for bacteria to grow, as well as the phosphorous situation for algae blooms and unhealthy water,” Swall added.

For the last seven years, LOWA has been trying to get a state grant to help stop that soil under the bridge from washing away.

This year, the group got the money.

“DNR stepped up to the plate, so we want to thank them big time,” Swall said.

LOWA used the $76,000 grant to buy massive rocks – known as rip rap – to stop that erosion.

“It takes a lot of rock,” said Chris Rahmoeller, Sales Manager at Rock Works.

In fact, they’re using 1,300 tons of it. That’s 2.6 million pounds of limestone.

“It holds 120 tons of rock on the barge, so it takes several trips from our quarry,” Rahmoeller added.

Scott Ritchie, the manager of Rock Works, says laying the rip rap around the peninsula will take a little more than a week. That’s less time than it would take to make a concrete sea wall.

“It lasts for years and years, and it’s just natural,” Ritchie said. “Later on down the road it just turns into regular rock just like the shoreline, so we’re good.”

LOWA also offers property owners a cost-share program to install rip rap on their property.


Get Involved.
Make a Difference.

Help us preserve, protect, and improve your watershed.

What can we do for you?

We offer two popular cost share programs.

Septic Tank Pump-out

Apply for a discounted septic tank pump-out.

Low-Impact Landscaping

Apply for up to $2,000 toward your project.

Take a Part Inside the Movement​

May 28, 2020 – May 30, 2020
Lake Race

Safety Boat Captains needed

To Volunteer, call 573-434-4400.

Jun 05, 2020 – Jul 28, 2020
Ozark Amphitheater Concerts

Volunteers usher or work concessions.  When you volunteer your time, LOWA receives income based on your hours worked.  Volunteers receive a free Shootout tee shirt, sign in under LOWA, and enjoy the music while you work.  Here’s the lineup.  Grab a friend and email us (adminasst@Lowatershed.org) the date(s) you are able to work and we thank you in advance.  Your time equals income directly to LOWA to help us Keep Our Healthy Lake Healthy.

May 22 – Granger Smith

June 5 – Rodney Carrington

June 6 – Three Dog Night

June 12 – Lynyrd Skynyrd

June 21 – Missouri Symphony Orchestra

July 3 – The Avett Brothers

July 4 – Reo Speedwagon

July 24 – For King & Country

July 25 – Jamey Johnson & Whiskey Myers

July 28 – Ted Nugent

August 21 – Crossover Christian Music Festival

September 26 – Pumpkin Chunkin Palooza

Jun 06, 2020
Osage Sun Run

Either race or fun run – your choice

More details soon.  This daytime event will require pre-registration

Jun 13, 2020 – Sep 12, 2020
Kayak Roundup

Due to Covid 19 restrictions the May 9 Kayak Roundup is cancelled. Check back here for further developments.

June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12

Meet at Ha Ha Tonka Lower Spring Area at the Kayak Launch

Jul 12, 2020
The Niangua Darter
Whistle Bridge to Ha Ha Tonka kayak steps, Camdenton MO – All Day

Whistle Bridge to Ha Ha Tonka

Pre-registration required and open in 2020

Aug 29, 2020 – Aug 30, 2020

Looking for volunteers

Safety Boat Captains needed – call 573-434-4400

Cleanup folks needed – email adminasst@Lowatershed.org

Thank you to our volunteers whose work benefits LOWA with a grant from the

event organizers based on hours worked on LOWA’s behalf.

Oct 07, 2020
Fall Native Plant Sale

More information will be posted in 2020 along

with a list of available plants for pre-order

See example of native plant garden and member testimonial.

LOWA Community Partners

A special thanks to these LOWA sponsors

Latest News

LOWA and Missouri Master Naturalist of the Lake of the Ozarks offer native plants for annual fall sale

Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance (LOWA) is offering Missouri native perennial wildflowers and shrubs at discounted prices through...

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