This year's Mississippi Riverboat Cleanup was extra special to the Corps because it is the first year we have participated as managers of the Adopt-a-River program. With the inspiring yet heavy weight of the DNR's past 25 years of successful cleanups, we wanted to make sure to do this right. Luckily, the event was a success with 75 happy, hard-working volunteers, Corps members and boat operators that cleaned up 1,160 pounds of trash, 120 pounds of recylcling and 11 tires from the Mississippi River.
Volunteers were excited to see the progress this event has made. "I could tell by the reduced amount of trash collected over the years that this program has made a major impact in having a cleaner river in the areas that we work," said volunteer Mike Tittle.
Areas we have focused on are seeing less and less trash, but the trash we do find continues to be pretty interesting. If you have been at this event before, you know the day wouldn't be complete without our 'best catch of the day' contest.
Captain's "Best Catch of the Day" categories & winners:
- Troubled Waters: 18 million people depend upon the Mississippi River for drinking water. In addition, it is a major migratory route for birds. This category is given to the item most poisonous or polluting to our river. WINNER: Highly flammable chemical spray in aerosol can.
- Ancient Artifact: The riverbank is where we used to deposit our daily household rubbish. Flooding moves the material throughout the riverbed and is often not found until low-water exposes it years later. WINNER: Large, old rope covered in old fishing lures.
- Unique Trash Award: River cleanups tend to produce artifacts from virtually every aspect of the human endeavor. This can be exciting, alarming, disturbing or just plain unique. WINNERS: Exploded pink foam can that looked almost like a bouquet of flowers, leopard print fuzzy car dice and an old roll of rotting duct tape.
Our efforts are making a difference, but as you can see there is still work to be done! If you want to get involved with Adopt-a-River efforts, visit our website and become an adopter! http://www.conservationcorps.org/adoptariver/