River Relief’s ‘Clean Sweep’ makes return to Hermann

Posted 11/6/17

Educational programs planned for county students Oct. 14, 16

 ON THE MISSOURI RIVER — The Big Muddy Clean Sweep is back!

A continuous two month Missouri River Relief clean-up by barge will …

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River Relief’s ‘Clean Sweep’ makes return to Hermann


Educational programs planned for county students Oct. 14, 16

 ON THE MISSOURI RIVER — The Big Muddy Clean Sweep is back!

A continuous two month Missouri River Relief clean-up by barge will be traveling downstream from Brunswick to Hermann this September and October, passing through Jameson Island Big Muddy Refuge, Boonville, Cooper’s Landing and Jefferson City.

Missouri River Relief (MoRR) is operating a barge with five open motorboats to haul recovered debris along a 153-mile reach from Brunswick to Hermann. The Clean Sweep 2014 voyage will start Saturday, Sept. 6, in Brunswick, Mo., with hundreds of local volunteers working on a community-based river cleanup and will finish Saturday, Oct. 18, with a community-based cleanup in Hermann.

According to River Relief officials, the purpose of the barge voyage is to make a powerful statement with a strong visual impact from the trash collected and piled on the deck. The voyage also brings positive attention to the Missouri River, to Missouri River Relief and to their sponsors and partners, working together for the health and beauty of the river.

The “garbage barge” will be pushed by towboats owned by Hermann Sand & Gravel, Co., as their barges haul grain between AgriServices-Brunswick and downriver terminals. Collected trash and debris then will be hauled on the barge and unloaded at the Hermann Sand & Gravel, Co., terminal across from the ramp at Hermann for recycling or proper disposal at landfills.

The Big Muddy Clean Sweep will be punctuated with stops at several river towns along the way — Brunswick (Sept. 5- 7), Jameson Island (Sept. 8-14), Boonville (Sept. 15-21), Cooper’s Landing (Sept. 22-28), Jefferson City (Sept. 29-Oct. 11) and Hermann (Oct. 12-20).  These extended moorings will enable MoRR to conduct community-based cleanups with hundreds of local volunteers, educational field trips, river festivals, barge tours and celebrations. Volunteers may check for specific dates and activities at MoRR’s website: www.riverrelief.org.

Several Gasconade County agencies are participating with River Relief in two learning festivals scheduled Oct. 14 and 16 at Hermann Riverfront Park. Scheduled agencies participating include Gasconade County Soil and Water Conservation District, Farm Service Agency, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Students from Hermann and Owensville high schools, Owensville Middle School, and St. George Catholic participated in the 2011 learning festival. Agency members presented shore-based educational program about issues including watersheds, soil and water conservation practices designed to protect watersheds, hands-on demonstrations of aquatic life, and discussions on career opportunities in river ecology and sciences.

River Relief officials are scheduled to be in Owensville next week to finalize details of the 2014 programs being offered.

Local schools are once again being invited to the learning festival which includes participation on a Missouri River clean-up project in the Hermann area.

Owensville Middle School students and faculty chaperones shared their on-river experiences in 2011 with fellow students using their handheld devises to transmit video messages live back to their school.

Residents along the river who would like to be involved, or may know of trash deposits accessible from the river that should be cleaned up, may also contact Missouri River Relief through their website: www.riverrelief.org. River clean-up volunteers will be supplied with gloves, trash bags, life preservers and water, in addition to a complimentary lunch, t-shirt, and a big muddy boat ride.

Missouri River clean-ups provide a unique opportunity for individuals to experience the Missouri River close up while helping in the project’s goal of restoring this amazing resource for future generations to enjoy.  

“Most residents in Missouri take the river for granted and even fewer are aware of the impact they can make by picking up trash for just a few hours,” said River Relief Director Jeff Barrow.  “There are no special skills or tools needed to be a River Relief volunteer and for those people who want to play an active role in making a difference in Hermann, the clean-up is a great opportunity with a beautiful backdrop!”

The Big Muddy Clean Sweep is similar to a river voyage conducted in 2011 celebrating Missouri River Relief’s 10th anniversary. In two months, 1,400 volunteers cleaned up 60 tons of trash, from nine communities, picking up nearly 500 tires, and finding five messages in bottles.   

MoRR and the Big Muddy Clean Sweep is the result of many partnerships. Sponsors and volunteers support the effort with time, energy, money and materials. Sponsors for the 2014 Clean Sweep include AEP River Operations, Missouri American Water, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – Ecological Services, The Buckner Foundation, Joey Los and Pat Jones.

“A Big Muddy thanks to our partners at AgriServices, Hermann Sand &Gravel, Gateway Dredging & Construction, Jefferson City River Terminal and Gavilon Fertilizer for providing barges and services,” Barrow added.


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