The Blue River Report Card

How healthy is the Blue River?

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Key Takeaways:

  • In 2019, the Blue River Watershed received a “C-“ letter grade with an overall score of 40%.

  • The grade reflects the combined scores from five of the six categories. Two categories (Development and Recreation) received “C” letter grades; three categories (Community Connections, Governance, and Habitat) received “D” letter grades; and one category (Water Quality) did not have complete enough data to score and grade.

  • To create the Report Card, the Blue River Watershed was divided into three sections: the Upper, Middle, and Lower Watersheds. Each section was scored separately.

  • As these scores in each category are raised, the overall grade for the Blue River will be raised.

About the Blue River Report Card

The Blue River is Kansas City’s river, flowing 41 miles across Kansas and Missouri into the heart of the Metro before it meets the Missouri River.


The Blue River has many tributaries that have their own local importance to the community. These tributaries include Brush, Indian, Tomahawk, Coffee, Wolf and Camp Branch Creeks.


The Blue River Report Card is a unique year long iterative process with stakeholders that seeks to grade the watershed holistically. This holistic approach takes data from a wide array of categories and indicators to best understand the health of the river as well as the community’s connection to the Blue River.


The Blue River Report Card will increase awareness among Kansas City communities, and progress watershed protection policies and actions that will ensure the Blue River remains an asset to Kansas Citians into the future.

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The Watershed

A watershed is a region or area bounded peripherally by a divide and draining ultimately to a particular watercourse or body of water. The Blue River watershed is made up all the land that drains into the Blue River when it rains, or when a faucet is  turned on.

For a detailed version of the map below, visit the Renew the Blue website.

The Blue River

travels 42 miles

South from Kansas

North to the 

Missouri River

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Lower Blue River

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Middle Blue River Score.png

Middle Blue River

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Upper Blue River Score.png

Upper Blue River

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