Fishing River Watershed Study for Downtown

Fishing River Watershed Study

What would be your top solutions for decreasing flooding in downtown Excelsior Springs? Via previous community meetings, a public opinion survey, and coordination with local partners, the City has developed a series of recommended improvements. They will be described in the Fishing River Watershed Study for Downtown. Watch the March 7, 2023 community open house livestream to learn more about them and provide your comments.

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The City is developing a watershed study and plan focused on our historic downtown. It is a response to chronic flooding and erosion issues along the East Fork and Dry Fork Fishing River, particularly where they come together downtown. Potential improvement projects will reflect our city’s vision and character plus community input. The plan will include:

  • Engaging our community.
  • Reducing the frequency and severity of flooding.
  • Protecting downtown properties, businesses, and infrastructure.
  • Caring for and enhancing our community’s ecological health and natural resources.
  • Catalyzing community revitalization efforts.

Potential improvement projects will reflect our city’s vision and character plus input from the community. They will also include:

  • Three- to five-year capital projects and longer-term needs.
  • Opportunities that offer multiple benefits to our city.
  • Public-private partnerships with local stakeholders and Clay and Ray Counties.
  • Suggested funding sources for improvements.


From social media to online commenting and in-person community events, there will be several ways to provide input and feedback during the study. You, your family, your business, and neighbors are all invited to participate during the following phases of the study process:

  • Discovery Phase (Spring – Summer 2022): To help the project team identify flooding, drainage, erosion, and sedimentation hot spots happening in our downtown area.
  • Evaluation Phase (Summer – Fall 2022): To review problems, opportunities and constraints identified during the Discovery Phase and then explore ideas for how we could respond to them.
  • Solutions Phase (Fall 2022 – Winter 2023): To discuss potential benefits, estimated costs, and impacts of improvement options based on what we learned and heard during the evaluation phase. The comments we receive will inform the draft and final study document.
  • Implementation Phase: Recommended improvement projects could be implemented over a 3- and 5-year period and beyond. You can help by championing our efforts as they are developed.


Share your thoughts about the study:

  • Use our #FishingRiverDowntown hashtag when commenting on Facebook
  • Participate in scheduled meetings and opinion surveys

Find updates and involvement opportunities:

For more information, email:

Molly McGovern
City Manager
(816) 630-0752

Download the information sheet

Flooding behind Police Station