Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) is Missouri’s independent, citizens' environmental organization for clean water, clean air, clean energy, and a healthy environment.

With the help of our members and allies we are making the world a better place. We believe our air, water, and land are gifts to sustain all life and we believe these resources should be available to serve the public interest today and for all future generations and not sacrificed for short-term gain. This work requires vigilance, stewardship, advocacy, compassion, and a heck of a sense of humor. We hope you will join us.

Our Mission

To educate, organize, and advocate in defense of Missouri's people and their environment.

Who We Are

We are a trusted environmental advocacy agency, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a state-wide partner supporting allied organizations and initiatives around the state. We deliver vital information to thousands of Missourians on issues that affect our water, air, food, health, and the environment.

A volunteer Board of Directors determines the specific priorities and goals of the organization. And our knowledgeable staff carries out MCE's priorities and responds to emerging environmental threats.

For our current projects and programs, please see Our Work or use the search box above.

Our Commitment to Racial Equity

Approved by the MCE Board of Directors on December 17, 2018

Throughout MCE’s 50 year history, we have been our best when we have had a diverse staff, a diverse board and worked for environmental justice for the most marginalized, and while we celebrate those victories we know we have more work to do.

MCE recognizes that people of color are disproportionately affected by public health and environmental threats and lack equal access to many of Missouri’s natural resources.

Members of MCE’s staff and board have been actively engaged in identifying, understanding, and dismantling systemic racism and implicit bias within our organization and the environmental community. MCE is committed to becoming a more inclusive, diverse organization and building a more equitable environmental movement throughout the state of Missouri.  

How MCE will accomplish this:

  • Increase representation of people of color among membership, staff, organizational leadership, and board of directors

  • Find ways within our work to address the intersection of race, poverty and environmental issues

  • Expand our capacity to address more diverse environmental issues

  • Engage with organizations that represent the communities most disproportionately impacted by environmental racism

  • Collaborate with other organizations that are addressing other environmental racism issues

  • Develop an accountability plan, with concrete metrics and goals, to ensure we are performing the work necessary to become a more inclusive, diverse organization and build a more equitable environmental movement throughout the state of Missouri

  • Produce quarterly accountability reports and an annual summary of our results for release with our annual report.

Our History

MCE began its work in 1969 in St. Louis as the region’s first independent citizens’ group created to address a broad range of environmental policy issues.  Our founders included conservationist, Leo Drey, attorney, Lewis Green, scientist, Barry Commoner, and city planner, Alfred Kahn. In 1968, they hosted a conference on the Environmental Crisis at Washington University. Work groups focused on topics such as water pollution, pesticides use, and air pollution. The organization's early board members included Louise Green,  Walston Chubb, and Father James Mulligan. By 1971, the group filed its first landmark lawsuit against major floodplain development, winning a seminal ruling prohibiting development below the high water mark without a federal permit. This was just the beginning.

MCE began before there was an EPA or a Department of Natural Resources. We began fighting for environmental protection before there was a Clean Water Act or Clean Air Act. Today, we work to enforce the laws that protect our public land and natural resources, and advocate for change at all levels of government for the protection of environmental and public health.

Read more about MCE's accomplishments over the past 46 years.


From Left to Right - top row: Tosha Phonix, Maisah Khan, Denise Baker, Melissa Vatterott, and Rae Miller
From Left to Right - bottom row: Ed Smith, Ellyn Horan, Laura Lock, and Heather Navarro



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