Missouri River Gets A Cleaning

1 decade 9 months 3 weeks ago Sunday, July 29 2007 Jul 29, 2007 Sunday, July 29, 2007 10:49:22 AM CDT July 29, 2007 in News

A local organization has now stepped in to put everything back how it is supposed to be: free of trash.

The flood contributed to the trash problem, but the real problem starts much further back, along the Missouri River. The Osage River was scheduled to be cleaned after the May flooding, but the site was still damaged from the water.

Missouri River Relief cleans around ten spots a year, picking up after people, most of whom are not mid-Missourians. The trash comes from outside the state and when it floods it takes the express ticket.

It was the 460 mile marker on the Missouri River where Scott Schnarre, Missouri River Relief program manager, discovered a fridge last year.

"We all live downstream-- that's what this thing's all about. We all live downstream from them, so we're picking up their trash and we don't want someone to pick up our trash down the river," said Schnarre.

His solution for this mess: Get people to connect with the river and develop a relationship with the waterways.

"A lot of people don't realize how important the Missouri River is in their lives. That's where there water comes from," said Schnarre.

For Schnarre and his friends this isn't trash collection, it's a rewarding adventure.

"We've definitely made a difference on the Missouri River and when I say 'we,' I mean the hundreds of people that help us," said Schnarre.

The heavy duty work doesn't faze the Missouri River Relief crew.

"I pretty much just met all of my best friends, and we're just all a big family now, so I do it for a lot of personal reasons," said Melanie Cheney, Missouri River Relief Volunteer.

This team is close and not afraid to get dirty. They're working to stop this ecosystem from going down the toilet.

Missouri River Relief was not the only organization at Bonnots Mill. The Missouri Department of Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps volunteered their services, helping to ferry volunteers to trashy areas of the river to clean up.

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