Confluence River Cleanup 2011

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area - St. Louis, MO
Saturday, October 29th, 2011

The last stop of our Big Muddy Clean Sweep was our biggest clean-up yet at the confluence of North America's two longest rivers: the Missouri & Mississippi. We have deep roots in the area, with many great partners helping get the word out. That makes for a super-effective clean-up. Over 300 volunteers removed an estimated 14 tons of trash from the Confluence.

We decided it would be cool to come costumed for the clean-up, being as it was two days before Halloween. Good stuff.

Dan the turtle man and a group of volunteers with their trash treasures! Photo by Francis Baum.

With only 10 available boats, we got an amazing 240 people out on the river by 10 a.m. That's thanks to our boat driver partners at Mo. Dept. of Conservation (Fisheries & Columbia Bottom), US Fish & Wildlife (Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office), the Corps of Engineers (Riverlands) and the outstanding River Relief boat operator crew.

One of the things that made this cleanup rock so hard was all of the incredible groups we had. Many had been to cleanups before and knew just what to do. Here's a few of the great partner groups we had: Boeing (a Golden Mile Sponsor), Biomerieux, Alpha Phi Omega (Wash U), many Stream Teamers, SEEDs, Missouri American Water (also a Golden Mile Sponsor), River Kids, REI, Girl Scouts 2639. 1413 & 607, Henry's Care Club, Boy Scouts Troop 52, John Burroughs Alumni, Piasa Palisades Sierra Club and Confluence Partnership!

Volunteers posing by their trash pile that they accumulated at their site. Photo by Alicia Pigg.

Folks cleaned up 11 miles of the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers and hit several sites by land. Some of the highlights were public treasures like Fort Bellefontaine Park (at the mouth of Coldwater Creek, one of the trashiest, yet beautiful creeks in the county), Cora Island Unit of the Big Muddy Refuge, the Confluence itself at Confluence Point State Park and Columbia Bottom CA, under the 367 bridge (ugh...so trashed every year!) and an old tire dump under the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge (75 tires gotten the hard way by Stream Team 211, Greenway Network, Tom Ball and River Relief crew).

The Trash Contest was one of the best ever...conducted by Jody and Olive Frank...Trash Contest pros.

Thank you so much for all of you that gave up your Saturday morning (after the World Series!) to cleanup the beautiful Confluence! It was the final touch on our Big Muddy Clean Sweep, and a perfect way to end it.

Volunteers headed out to their trash site on the banks of the Missouri River. Hurrah! Photo by Francis Baum.

Trash Tally:

363 bags of trash!!
202 tires (75 from Old Chain of Rocks Bridge)
46 chunks of Styrofoam
3 coolers
9 5-gallon buckets
17.5 55-gallon metal drums
7 55-gallon plastic barrels
1 plastic milk crate
1 8 ft. "saddle" gas tank (800 lbs)
Confluence Big Muddy Clean Sweep 10-29-11
2 boat seats
1 "Caution Wet Floor" sign
6 chairs
3 plastic trash cans
2 boxsprings
1 mattress
1 dishwasher
1 AC unit
1 water softner tank
2 fan cages
1 lantern
1 heating oil tank
6 propane tanks
1 toilet
3 chest freezers
1 hot water heater
1 drier
2 washing machines
2 refrigerators
4 gas tanks
1/2 a car bumper
14 rusty hunks o' metal
2 bails of wire
1 concrete anchor
5 pieces of rebar
1 sign post rod with concreteConfluence Big Muddy Clean Sweep
8 pieces of braided cable
1 buoy anchor
1 aluminum baseball bat
2 pieces of carpet
1 6-ft lumber spike
1 6-ft 4x4 post of treated lumber
1 plastic corrugated pipe
vinyl siding
1 tarp
1 tent shredded to pieces
1 "Dawg Haus Restaurant" sign
1 clay pot
1 life vest
2 plastic swimming pools
1 green plastic helmet
1 "No Trespassing" sign on post
3 fishing poles
1 plastic baseball bat
1 umbrellaConfluence Big Muddy Clean Sweep 10-29-11
1 hair curler
3 pairs of ladies panties
1 door knob with plate lock
1 rubber duck soap dish
1 Disney rubber ball with Tinkerbell
1 Incredible Hulk action figure
1 snapping turtle shell
1 soccer ball, 2 baseballs, 2 footballs
1 Lacross ball, basketball, bocci ball
1 headlight, light bulb & taillight
2 bottles of Blue Magic cleaner
1 message in a bottle for "eternal happiness" quoting Psalm 118:24
1 syringe in a plastic bottle
1 green buoy
Confluence Big Muddy Clean Sweep 10-29-11
1 dust pan
1 pink toy air craft carrier
1 minnie mouse ball
1 toy cup
1 sandbox bucket, 1 sand shovel
1 leopard print high heel shoe
1 magnifier w/out glass
1/2 of a hula hoop
1 cable spool
1 Geoffery Beene purse
1 duck decoy
1 wind chime made out of bud light bottles
1 15' wooden dock

Confluence Cleanup Results

Photo album on Flickr

Photo album on Facebook

Other Links:

Total Volunteers: 302

  • River Relief Crew: 34
  • Boats: 10 (5 MRR, 2 US Army Corps of Engineers - Riverlands, 1 MDC Columbia Bottom CA, 1 MDC - Fisheries, 1 US Fish & Wild U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 11
  • River Stage: 13.2-ft. @ St. Charles gauge & 4.9-ft @ Melvin Price Dam
  • Landfill: 8 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 2 tons
  • Tires: 202 - 4 tons

Total Trash Tonnage: 14 tons!

Groups Participating: Boeing, BEEP (Boeing Employees for Environmental Protection), Biomerieux, Alpha Phi Omega (Wash U), many Stream Teamers, SEEDs, Missouri American Water, River Kids, REI, Girl Scouts 2639. 1413 & 607, Henry's Care Club, Boy Scouts Troop 52, John Burroughs Alumni, Piasa Palisades Sierra Club and Confluence Partnership!

Fun Team Names: SEED 1 & 2, River Otters, Team Jack O'Lantern, Howloween, Kubrick's Rats, Mud Kip, The Bombers, #1 Eagles, MoAmWater, River Redbirds, MO-50, OWS, A Plus twO, Troop 52, Cardinal Nation, Turtles, Team Crazy, Skeleton Crew, Team Freeze, I don't knows, Carps, Billy Bobs, Bristel Baggers, Fighting Mongooses Eating Cheese (?!), New City Cardinals (OK, that's really some of the wierdest Team names we've ever had...just saying!)

10th Anniversary Big Muddy Clean Sweep

The Confluence Cleanup was the final stop on our Big Muddy Clean Sweep - a cleanup by barge across the state. Check out our webpage for more information on the 2011 Clean Sweep by clicking on the photo below:

River Reflections

St. Louis Earth Day and Confluence Partnership organized a great day of river trips and networking involving many area agencies, organizations and individuals working in the Confluence Area. We served as river guides, and included a barge tour.

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors:

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