Missouri River MegaScout

An interactive map of the trash on the Missouri River

The Missouri River MegaScout is an ongoing project by Missouri River Relief volunteers to map the trash on the Lower Missouri River. 

The latest MegaScout Project is an interactive trash map utilizing Google Maps. Check it out at megascout.riverrelief.org

 Scroll down for tips on how to use the map.

MegaScout on the River

The project began in 2006 with the first MegaScout. Over the course of weeks in July and three fall weekends, two boats proceeded down the Missouri River, cataloging and rating the trash along the shores - one boat following each bank. Dumps, accumulations and large items were GPSed, photos were taken when possible, large floatable objects were "tagged" with the rivermile and date and each mile of the river was rated from 1-5 on the "Trashiness" scale. 

This data was collected in a GIS database by Daniel Belshe and was used in planning clean-ups and communicating the problem of "non-point-source" solid waste on the Missouri River. 

Click here to check out the MegaScout Blog, a journal of the trip. 

Aerial MegaScout

In 2011, utilizing a Patagonia grant and a collaboration with EcoFlight, we did an aerial scout of the river from Kansas City to St. Charles, shooting photos of accumulations of driftwood and trash from the air. 

MegaScout Online Map

In 2013, Missouri River Relief subcontractors Josh Nichols and Dyan Pursell used funding from a Missouri Dept. of Conservation Fish Kills grant to put data from both scouts online utilizing Google Maps. Check out the maps at megascout.riverrelief.org

How to use the map - 

  1. The map is based on Google Maps, so you can use the standard Google tools to navigate, including the "hand" tool to move up and down the river and the sliding zoom tool on the left to zoom in and out. 
  2. Select data layers to display by checking the box next to the title. 
  • Aerial Photos (2011)- These are shown by red dots that represent where the plane was when the photo was taken. We have attempted to reflect what the photo actually shows in the title. 
  • Solid Waste (2006)- These are displayed by orange triangles with exclamation points. Click on these to display original data collected at this location in 2006. Some of these are also associated with photos. 
  • Trash Rank (2006)- Each mile was rated for "trashiness". This is displayed by a color coded line on each bank. Click the line segment for more info on the rating. 0=light blue; 1=dark blue; 2=green; 3=orange; 4=red; 5=magenta. 
  • Wing dikes - Will display rock structures in the river. 
  • Revetments - Will display rock structures on the bank. 
  • Boat Access - Will display private and public boat ramps and river accesses. 
  • Nav. Beacon - Will display Coast Guard navigation signs. 
  • Rivermiles - A blue dot. You need to click it to see what mile that represents. 

Ready for Action?

This website is created and maintained by Missouri River Relief, P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO 65205
MRR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Tax ID (EIN) 03-0425187
© 2024 Missouri River Relief | Website development and design by Pixel Jam Digital
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