Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Columbia FRO Gets Dirty to Clean Big Muddy
Midwest Region, July 28, 2007
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On July 28th, Columbia FRO assisted Missouri River Relief (MRR) with a trash cleanup on the Osage River.  Technicians Patricia Herman, Chris McLeland, and Colby Wrasse along with CARES student workers Marod Harris and Owen Flinchpaugh took part. 


Approximately 65 volunteers donated their time and sweat on Saturday to help pickup trash along the Osage River’s shorelines.  The Osage River is a major Missouri River tributary and is a popular boating destination. 


Volunteers found plenty of work to keep them busy as an estimated 4 tons of trash were collected.  The trash removed included aluminum cans, bottles, Styrofoam, chicken wire, tires, a bicycle, a stop sign, and even a refrigerator. 


This particular refrigerator had traveled approximately 280 miles downriver before it was picked up.  A good demonstration of how one man’s trash can quickly becomes another man’s trash.


Missouri River Relief is a grassroots volunteer organization focused on cleaning the shores of the Missouri River and its tributaries.  For seven years now MRR has enhanced this great American river by removing tons of trash from its shorelines. 


The Missouri River, like many rivers that flow through urban areas, is plagued by litter.  Unfortunately, even today, in our supposedly enlightened World, many people view rivers as their personal dumping grounds.  Missouri River Relief is working to correct this situation by shedding light on this crisis while educating the public.  Columbia FRO has helped MMR during the last few years, providing boats and personnel to assist in this massive effort. 


Each year MMR hosts approximately five cleanup events at different sites along the river.  The events are usually great successes because of the hard work of many dedicated volunteers.  The partnership between MMR, volunteers and USFWS is an example of the power of working together.  While we are always happy to help MMR, we hope one day the river shores will be free of trash.  But until that day arrives, grab a trash bag and we will see you on the river.


Colby Wrasse

Patricia Herman

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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