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The Blue River Report Card

How healthy is the Blue River?

Final Grade image.jpg

Key Takeaways:

  • In 2021, the Blue River Watershed received a “C“ letter grade with an overall score of 46%.

  • The grade reflects the combined scores from six categories. Four categories (Water Quality, Development, Recreation and Community Connections) received “C” letter grades; two categories (Governance, and Habitat) received “D” letter grades; an improvement from the 2019 Report Card. 

  • 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 42 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 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.

Report Card Color Legend.png

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

Lower_ Brush Creek to MO River.png

Lower Blue River:
Brush Creek to Missouri River

Lower Blue River_map_rtb.png
Middle_ Indian Creek to Brush Creek.png

Middle Blue River:
Indian Creek to Brush Creek

Middle Blue River_map_rtb.png
Upper_ Wolf Creek to Indian Creek.png

Upper Blue River:
Wolf Creek to Indian Creek

Upper Blue River_map_rtb.png
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