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Floody Muddy 101 Event Held Alternative for Canoe for Clean Waters on the Missouri River
Midwest Region, June 19, 2010
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Tim Haller, Big Muddy NFWR Park Ranger, gives the Floody Muddy 101 crowd a lesson on the flooding of the Missouri River. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)
Tim Haller, Big Muddy NFWR Park Ranger, gives the Floody Muddy 101 crowd a lesson on the flooding of the Missouri River. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo) - Photo Credit: n/a
Participants in Floody Muddy 101 observe the hydrology display of the Missouri River and discuss the river's flooding activity with Park Ranger Tim Haller. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)
Participants in Floody Muddy 101 observe the hydrology display of the Missouri River and discuss the river's flooding activity with Park Ranger Tim Haller. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo) - Photo Credit: n/a
Two girls take turns holding a false map turtle found seeking refuge from the flood on the levy of Big Muddy's Overton Bottoms North unit. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)
Two girls take turns holding a false map turtle found seeking refuge from the flood on the levy of Big Muddy's Overton Bottoms North unit. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo) - Photo Credit: n/a

Swift and flooded waters may have halted paddlers from participating in the Missouri River Communities Network (MRCN) Canoe for Clean Waters event anticipated to occur on June 19 at Katfish Katy’s in Huntsdale, Mo. but the raging river didn’t completely destroy the day.

As an alternative to Canoe for Clean Waters, which is postponed until October, Floody Muddy 101 was put on by MRCN to educate the public on the flooding of the Missouri River. This event featured speakers from MRCN, Missouri River Relief, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Columbia Fishery Resources Office (FRO) and Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge (NFWR).

Although the river’s state kept some potential participants away, those that did attend the event either by accident (via passing by on the Katy trail) or on purpose were able to indulge in several informative discussions and presentations.

Rebecca Spicer, one of MRCN’s Missouri Clean Water AmeriCorps members, spoke on storm water runoff and its route into the river. Spicer discussed how citizens can help filtrate and diverge this water by using techniques like rain barrels and rain gardens. More information on these devices can be found on MRCN’s Web site at http://www.moriver.org/.

Next to speak was Andy Plauck from the Columbia FRO. Among a variety of other activities, Plauck discussed in detail his office’s ongoing project of monitoring the pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon populations in the Lower Missouri River. The pallid sturgeon is a federally-listed endangered species and the Columbia FRO is working with other environmental agencies to help restore their populations.

Tim Haller, Big Muddy NFWR Park Ranger, brought along the Refuge’s hydrology display of the Missouri River at Big Muddy’s Lisbon Bottom and Jameson Island units. This gave the crowd a visual representation of the flow of the Missouri River and how the surrounding floodplain is impacted during flood events like the present.

Most of Big Muddy’s Refuge Units are currently underwater. Two of such units, Overton Bottoms North and South, are located directly across the river from Katfish Katy’s. Although these flood events may seem disastrous to private landowners in the floodplain, they are crucial for native fish and wildlife species like the pallid sturgeon for instance who spawn in these floodwaters.

Steve Schnarr, a Missouri River Relief manager, finalized the event by speaking to the crowd about statistics of river clean-ups carried out by his organization. Schnarr explained that flood events stimulate high waste accumulations due to water flowing through areas where waste may be otherwise contained in addition to littering. To demonstrate this trash flow, Schnarr and several other members from Missouri River Relief watched the river one evening and recorded their observations. In just 10 minutes they recorded a total of 77 plastic bottles! “And that’s only from what the eye could see,” said Schnarr.

The rest of the evening they tallied the following:  

1 Large Freezer

15 Styrofoam Chunks

7 Basket Balls

4 - 5 gallon Buckets

5 Aerosol spray cans

1 Green Buoy

1 Inflated Inner Tube

1 Large Metal Tank

7 Tires

1 Milk Jug

4 Oil/Detergent Jugs

1 Purple Sharpie

1 Perfume Bottle Lid

1 Deodorant Stick

2 Misc. Balls

1 Prescription Bottle

2 Peanut Butter Jars

2 Coolers

1 Plastic Lime

2 Water Jerry Jugs

1 Metal 5 gallon Bucket ...and countless plastic bottles!

 

Amanda Noel

Biological Science Aid

Big Muddy NFWR


Contact Info: Tim Haller, 573-441-2799, tim_haller@fws.gov



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