White River Waterkeeper

The White River watershed encompasses 27,799 mi2 in Arkansas and southern Missouri. The Ozark Highlands comprise the majority (60%) of the watershed, with the Mississippi Delta (25%), Boston Mountains (10%), Arkansas River Valley (4%), and Ouachita Mountains (1%) containing the rest (Figure 1). Limestone bluffs, spring fed streams, and the numerous sinkholes, caves, and waterfalls in the area are attributes of the expansive karst geology underlying most of the watershed. Throughout the watershed there are considerable tracts of public lands, such as the White River Wildlife Refuge, Sylamore National Forest, and portions of the Ozark St. Francis and Mark Twain National Forests. As most areas within National Forests are “multiple use”, silviculture is a common land use practice throughout the area – although not nearly as common as it was in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Agriculture has always been a major land use practice within the watershed, this practice continues to expand in the region. In the Ozark Highlands, poultry production, cattle grazing, and hay production are the main forms of agriculture; land use in the Mississippi Delta is mostly row crop agriculture.One of the major tributaries of the White River escaped impoundment by being declared America’s first national river in 1972 – the Buffalo National River

Jessie Green, White River Waterkeeper, graduated from Arkansas State University with a B.S. in Biology and emphasis in Environmental Biology in 2010. While there, she spent a year and a half as an undergraduate research technician doing freshwater mussel surveys and analyzing mussel tissue for lipid and glycogen concentrations to measure the effects of bridge replacement on the Saline River near Sheridan, AR. She then pursued a M.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Aquatic Ecology at the University of Central Arkansas. Her thesis work focused on examining the effects of natural gas development on populations and communities of fishes in the Fayetteville Shale. The following 3.5 years at ADEQ, where she served as an Ecologist Coordinator (aka Senior Ecologist), were invaluable to her understanding and knowledge of water quality issues within the state of Arkansas. While at ADEQ, she focused the majority of my time developing standard operating procedures for biological surveys, researching appropriate means of defining least disturbed condition, designing studies for the development of numeric nutrient criteria, and providing environmental review of NPDES permit applications. 


8623 Westwood Ave
Little Rock, Arkansas 72204