Great Rivers Cleanup at the Confluence 2018

Saturday, September 15th, 2018
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area Boat Ramp, St. Louis, MO

Missouri River Relief really left their mark on Columbia Bottom Conservation Area this time around. The staff and crew were camped for a total of 4 nights and 5 days while we hosted groups, schools, organizations, and dedicated individuals and families for stewardship and education along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. On Thursday, our Education Director Kristen Schulte hosted City Garden Montessori for a full-day field trip called “Investigating the Missouri River” where we took 30 students out on the river for place-based learning about these two great rivers. If you would like to see photos from this event, please check out our Flickr album here.

Bird's eye view of the MRR crew during the trash haul. Photo by: Kris Corbett

During the trash scout on Friday, it dawned on us that we may just have entered the “deep-cleaning” phase on this stretch of river. Even though it has been 4 years since we have last been to Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, other stretches of the Missouri River haven’t been so lucky. However, there is almost no better place to have a river cleanup than the confluence of our nations two longest rivers, the Missouri and Mississippi. As it turned out, there was no better day to have the event either. The skies opened up to a beautifully sunny day with quite a suggestion that summer was still alive and well.

2018 Confluence Cleanup
Volunteers load on boats to head to the banks of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in search of trash. Photo by: Steve Schnarr

Even though we had higher than usual water levels to deal with, our huge group of 181 dedicated volunteers tackled the banks of the two rivers and searched high and low for trash that followed the high waters from 2015 and 2017. Altogether, our amazing volunteers picked up 2.93 tons of trash, filling up an entire 40-yard trash dumpster! We are beyond grateful. We also had some much-needed help from some hardcore stream teams from the St. Louis area including the League of Watershed Guardians, Missouri Stream Team 5168 and Arnold Stream Team 211. Some amazing groups from the area also joined us on the river that day, including a large group from Academy of the Sacred Heart, 66th Confluence Baden-Powell Service Association, and the St. Louis Aquarium.

Volunteers posing with their large trash haul from the day! Photo by: Melanie Cheney

Trash Tally

142 Bags of trash!!

  • 13 Tires on the rim
  • 10 Tires without the rim
  • 1 tractor tire
  • 1 semi-truck tire
  • 7 Chunks of styrofoam
  • 1 foam bumper
  • 4 coolers
  • 1 cooler lid
  • 2 5-gallon buckets
  • 2 10-gallon buckets
  • 1 55-gallon metal drum
  • 4 55-gallon plastic drum
  • 1 buoy
  • 1 washer
  • 1 hot water heater
  • 2 chest freezers
  • 2 propane tanks
  • 1 dishwasher
  • 1 rubbermade tote
  • 1 mattress
  • 1 box spring
  • 2 couches
  • 3 chairs
  • 1 leather easy chair
  • 2 drawers
  • 1 toilet seat
  • 1 round plastic table
  • 1 truck bed cover
  • 1 car seat
  • 2 hubcaps
  • 1 cam-shaft cover
  • 1 child car seat
  • 1 household organizer
  • 3 piles of barbed wire
  • 1 dog pen
  • 2 doors
  • 1 shower stall
  • 1 plastic pallet holder
  • 1 siding pane
  • 1 fence piece
  • 1 metal cable
  • 1 plastic pipe
  • 1 fiberglass Newman boat
  • 1 fishing pole
  • 1 plastic lawn chair

Some Trash Contest Finds:

Most likely to be used as a weapon:

  • Toy gun
  • Shotgun shells

Most useful:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • bobber
  • medicine container

Best Muddy Ball

  • Soccer ball
  • Basketball
  • Golf ball

Most Fashionable:

  • 2 flip flops
A couple of trash contest finds. Photo by: Kristen Schulte

2018 Confluence Results!

Check out the amazing photos on Facebook and Flickr!

Total Volunteers: 243

  • Volunteers Signed In: 181
  • River Relief Crew: 35
  • Boats: 10 (4 MRR | 4 Missouri Department of Conservation | 2 Commercial Fishermen)
  • River miles: 9.5 (Missouri MM 6.5 to 0 | Mississippi MM 193-196)
  • River Stages: Missouri at St. Charles - 18.5 ft. | Mississippi at St. Louis - 24.48 ft.
  • Landfill: 2.08 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 0.45 tons
  • Tires: 23 (0.4 tons)

Total Tonnage: 2.93 Tons!!

Groups Participating: REI, St. Louis Aquarium, Francis Howell, Academy of the Sacred Heart, 66th Confluence Baden-Powell Service Association, Bank of America, League of Watershed Guardians, Missouri Stream Team 5168, Arnold Stream Team 211 and The American Heritage Girls.

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors:

"Great Blue Heron" Event Sponsors

Missouri American WaterMissouri Department of Conservation

"Paddlefish" Event Sponsor

Pat Jones

"Pallid Sturgeon" Event Sponsors

In-Kind Sponsors

Event Partners

Missouri Stream Team

Ready for Action?

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