Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Columbia NFWCO Helps Clean Up the Big Muddy in St. Charles
Midwest Region, August 11, 2007
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With temperatures near 100 degrees, the “dog days of August” really lived up to their name this year.  Undaunted by oppressive heat and humidity, nearly 150 dedicated volunteers arrived in St. Charles to help Missouri River Relief (MRR) clean up the riverfront.  


On 11 August 2007, technicians Joe McMullen, Colby Wrasse and Patty Herman of Columbia NFWCO also assisted MRR with this event.  Columbia NFWCO sent boats and drivers to transport volunteers and to pick up trash on the Missouri River. 


Major spring flooding on the river caused the cancellation of an earlier planned clean-up event at this location.  Flooding also redistributed and deposited a lot of new debris along the river in St. Charles.  Volunteers found plenty of work to keep them busy as 107 bags of trash were collected. Other unusual items collected include:  81 tires, 3 meat cleavers, a lemon yellow sink, two baby dolls, five refrigerators, a washer and dryer, part of a plow - even a 1961 Impala!  Colby and Patty spent half-an-hour just digging a 55 gallon road construction barrel from the mud.  Despite the challenges, MRR successfully cleaned another 10 miles of river shore – that’s something that we can all be proud of!  


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 NFWCO has helped MRR during the last few years by providing boats and personnel to assist in this massive effort. Each year MRR 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 MRR, volunteers and USFWS is an example of the power of working together.  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.

Contact Info: Colby Wrasse, 573-234-2132 x30, colby_wrasse@fws.gov
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