Missouri River cleanup scheduled for May 22

Missouri River cleanup scheduled for May 22 On Saturday, May 22, a stretch of the Missouri River from Gavins Point to below Yankton will be scrubbed of old tires, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and other flotsam accumulated through the years.

Organized by staff of the Missouri National Recreational River in concert with Yankton community leaders, several other federal and state agencies, scout groups, and landowners, several hundred friends of the river are expected to lend a hand in this first-ever effort.

Volunteers will be directed to an array of locales in the cleanup zone. Some will scour riverbanks on lands owned by the City of Yankton. Several private landowners possessing large frontages have consented to allow bankside cleanup on their properties. And throughout, boaters will work at water's edge in assigned zones plucking trash wherever encountered.

Smaller frontage landowners are also encouraged to participate by scouring respective individual riverbanks throughout the cleanup zone and bucking trash to neighborhood dumpsters. This unique Missouri River scrubbing is occurring during National River Cleanup Week wherein hundreds of miles of American rivers are cleansed of trash each May.

"We'll be working on a highly visible reach," said Paul Hedren, Missouri National Recreational River superintendent. "Next year we'll focus on other reaches of the river, gradually progressing downstream to Ponca and on the 39-Mile District below Fort Randall Dam," he said.

Additional help is welcome. Boaters and boat and land crews willing to contribute several hours to the Missouri River should contact George Berndt at 402-667-2550 (a local call from Yankton) for registration materials.

Custom logo t-shirts will be presented to the first 200 volunteers joining the effort. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served when the cleanup concludes Saturday afternoon.

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