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.
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.
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.
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