Theodore M. Smith
Theodore Smith became president of the River des Peres Watershed Coalition in 2016. Theodore is a lifelong St. Louisian with a love for parks, plants, rivers, habitat restoration, cycling and community improvement. Theodore graduated from Saint Louis University with a B.A in Urban Affairs. Theodore joined the RdPWC in 2010 serving as an AmeriCorps member engaging in various projects including rain barrel building, invasive plant species removal, stream cleanups and educational outreach.
Danelle has held leadership roles in the Coalition since 2006 and has represented RdPWC in Stream Teams United since 2008. In these organizations, she works to educate the community about the issues facing urban streams and management practices that can be employed to improve these streams, including rain barrels, rain gardens, habitat improvement, and pollution prevention. In addition to education, her other passion is water quality monitoring. She monitored invertebrates twice per year and chemistry twice a month at four sites for two years to investigate impacts of I-64 reconstruction on Deer Creek. She led volunteers in annual watershed-wide monitoring events in the River des Peres watershed. Since 2012, she has organized 40 water quality volunteers to sample chloride on a regular basis in the winter to evaluate the location and degree of stream pollution being caused by road salt. When Danelle recognized that the State’s ability to use the road salt data was limited by the methods and tools provided by the Stream Team program, she began her current pursuit of a PhD to research the biological effects of the salt that is applied to our roadways and the ways we can reduce salt use.
Besa joined operation clean stream in 1994 to pick up trash on the Huzzah river and has returned every year since. When she started doing trash pickups the canoes would return fully loaded with tires and appliances from dumping in the river, now the trash is mostly sunglasses and flip flops from paddlers capsizing. Trash pickups are not as challenging as they used to be but it is good to see the river being cared for. She now monitors Gravois Creek near her home and achieved level three Water Quality Monitor certification in 2016. She volunteers as a Missouri Master Naturalists since 2009 and treasurer of the River des Peres Watershed Coalition since 2016 and Stream Teams United since 2017. In summer Besa and her partner enjoy lazy multiday floats on the Eleven Point River and time at their favorite campsite on the Black River. Besa has a BA from Knox College in Environmental Studies and specializes in Missouri Native Plants.