Jefferson City Missouri River Cleanup 2011

Carl R. Noren Access - Jefferson City, MO
Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Week two of the Big Muddy Clean Sweep began with river trips with long time partners and sponsors Missouri Department of Conservation Stream Team staff and Missouri Department of Natural Resource employees to provide a unique place for discussion on the future of resource conservation while experiencing a pretty amazing natural resource in itself. What better place to meet than on the Big Muddy which flows directly beneath the state capital and many of their offices?

Meanwhile, the Big Muddy Clean Sweep barge crew continued to make arrangements for the "River Cleanup" barge to move upriver. Finally, after a number of mishaps and missed opportunities, Herman Sand & Gravel gave our barge a lift up to Hermann and then to Jeff City with help from the guys at Capital Sand Co. & the Jeff City River Terminal. The barge had finally arrived!

The trash hauling crew transfering a tractor tire from an MRR plate boat onto the trash barge. Photo by Melanie Cheney.

Saturday morning over 140 volunteers gathered to clean up the Missouri River in Jefferson City and christen our new trash barge with its first load of river trash on its 170 mile journey. We had an amazing turnout. 13 boats from the River Relief, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and MO Department of Conservation were sent out to cover 11 miles of river, including a site at Mokane, MO, organized by Mark Van Patten of Missouri Stream Team and worked with Mokane residents, Friends of Big Muddy and Tim Haller of Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge. Check out all of our cool photos from the cleanup on our Flickr! or read more stories about the Clean Sweep on our River Notes Blog!

A Big Muddy Thanks to Eldon Highschool teacher Jen Wellman for bringing a bus load of courteous high school students in the middle of home-coming weekend. They were great kids and awesome workers! One of the girls ended up finding the "Best Darned Find of the Day" for the Trash Contest, a plastic toy "Swamp Thing"!

A homemade Lifejacket from one of our newest crew members! Photo by Dan Belshe

Mokane & Wears Creek Cleanups

Our friends at Missouri Stream Team and Mokane put on their first Missouri River Cleanup. An additional 25 volunteers worked a satellite site from the Mokane Access with Stream Team partner Mark VanPatten and Big Muddy Refuge partner Tim Haller. All of the trash they gathered was picked up by the barge as it passed through on Monday!

Many thanks to the Wears Creek Clean-up folks for providing a wonderful lunch for our simultaneous cleanup. Patchwork Family Farms, Clovers Natural Foods & Hy-Vee for providing in-kind food donations for the barge team!  And to our long time partner & sponsor, Missouri American Water for bringing us drinking water and water bottles, providing educational talks on how we get our drinking water from the river and filter it, and of course for supporting the clean-up! And to the entire list of Golden Mile Sponsors, who stepped up to the plate to support the Big Muddy Clean Sweep. We couldn't have done this without you guys!

Steve Schnarr working the dispatch scene to safely send volunteers to their prescouted cleanup locations on the banks of the Missouri River. Photo by Dan Belshe.

Trash Tally:

68 Blue Stream Team (ST) bags of Trash
25 Tires (one ginormous tractor tire on the rim)
5 Chunks of Styrofoam
1 Refrigerator
2 Coolers
9 5-gallon Plastic Buckets
2 55-gallon Plastic Barrels
2 Propane Tanks
1 Boxspring
8 Chairs
1 Wicker Table
1 Bean Bag
1 BBQ Grill
30 ft of Metal Cable
Scrap Metal
1 boat-load of wet, nasty carpet (30 pieces)
1 big plastic Culvert (8ft long)
4 Tarps
1 Pet Carrier
1 Large Buoy
2 Toys

From Mokane:

45 mesh ST bags
12 tires
+ more! …awaiting official tally

Trash Contest Finds!

1 Plastic Swamp Thing toy
1 Mylar Balloon
1 Hockey Puck
1 Nerf Laser Tag Vest
1 Plastic Egg
1 Foam Fortune Cookie
1 McDonald Ball Pit Ball
1 Playdo Hair Thing
1 Metal Chair
1 Rusty Spray Can
2 Old Glass Jugs
1 Glass Bottle with Glass Stopper
1 Toilet Tank Bulb
1 Fuzzy Toilet Seat
1 Bottle of Personal Lubricant
1 Dog Skull w/ Collar
1 Plastic Dog
Handful of Turkey Feathers
A String of Christmas Lights
A Flower growing out of a piece of Styrofoam
1 Naturally Feminine Powder Spray
1 plastic Hair Curler
1 Avon Crème Lotion
4 Light Bulbs
1 Pacifier
1 Eldon Mustangs Water Bottle
1 Machete Blade
1 Kids Chair
1 Milk Crate
1 Metal Grill
1 Hammer
1 Headlight
1 Seat Cushion
1 Can of Sudden Tan
1 full Can of Milwaukee’s Best
1 plastic Horse with the legs chewed off

Cleanup Results

Photo album on Flickr

River Notes Blog


Total Volunteers: 161

  • River Relief Crew: 34
  • Boats: 13 (4 MRR, 4 MDC, 5 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 11  (mm141 - mm150 and 2 miles from Mokane)
  • River Stage: 16-ft. @ Jefferson City gauge
  • Landfill: 1.7 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 0.16 tons
  • Tires: 37 - 0.7 tons

Total Trash Tonnage: 2.6 tons

Fun Team Names: The Survivors, Team Do It, Samar & the Cabelas, Rata-mizzou-e, The Lost City of Alexa, The Johnson's, Effindub, Gnarley Team, Critter Gitters, The Gold Diggers, The Eldonians, Catamaran, River Reliefers

Race to the Dome

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of entertaining even more river enthusiasts!  A record 71 boats and 112 paddlers enjoyed getting out on the water for the 2nd Annual Race to the Dome! Despite a foggy delay in the morning, participants in this charity canoe & kayak race helped support Missouri River Relief by enjoying a glorious Fall day on the Big Muddy, as the colors on the trees began to peak.  The love for this amazing river was flowing~~~!

For more race results check out and check out this years event photos on Flickr.

Big Muddy Clean Sweep

We're doing a cleanup across the state with a trash barge in celebration of our 10th year cleaning up the Big Muddy. The Jefferson City Cleanup is part of the effort. Click here for more info.

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors and Partners:

Golden Mile Sponsors

Our Golden Mile Sponsors donated $10,000 or more to support our efforts in one of the locations our barge will be moored.
Gateway Solid Waste Management District
Pat Jones
Missouri American Water
Mo. Dept. of Conservation
Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources
3M (Columbia Plant)

Cleanup Sponsors

Becky and Patrick Lynn
Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management Dept.
US Fish & Wildlife Service - Ecological Services
Wears Creek Squad


Ameren UE
Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge
City of Jefferson Parks & Rec.
Living Lands & Waters
Missouri Stream Team
Mo. Dept. of Conservation - Fisheries & Protection
Race to the Dome
US Fish & Wildlife Service - Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office
Wears Creek Squad
Joe Wilson - Wilson's Serenity Point
Patchwork Family Farms
Clover's Natural Foods


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