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Our Opinion: The value of volunteering for Missouri River cleanup

Our Opinion: The value of volunteering for Missouri River cleanup

September 3rd, 2016 by News Tribune in Opinion Editorial

The history of Jefferson City cannot be told without the inclusion of the Missouri River.

Because we are a riverfront community, we support greater access to the river and, once again, we encourage participation in an upcoming riverfront cleanup.

Missouri River Relief will host its annual cleanup in Central Missouri from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 10, beginning at the Noren Access in north Jefferson City.

The organization is working to mobilize hundreds of volunteers for the cleanup. Pre-registration online at www.riverrelief.org is encouraged, but not required.

Volunteers will sign-in starting at 8:30 a.m. and begin boarding boats at 9 a.m. Participants will be shuttled to pre-scouted locations along the river to pick up trash. Help also will be needed after lunch to sort the trash for proper disposal; the organization seeks to recycle as much as possible.

Missouri River Relief calls the cleanups "great experiences for families, individuals, civic and church groups, school clubs, students and corporate teams. Children and youth are impacted and inspired to make a difference in their communities, by educating their friends and peers about the importance of protecting and keeping our waterways clean."

Organizers anticipate collecting tons of trash, which was exacerbated by winter flooding that increased the amount of debris in the river and on the banks, islands and public recreation areas.

The event will conclude with a free appreciation lunch and an opportunity to enter an official Missouri River Relief Trash Contest. Participants will submit their favorite "trash treasure" finds from the morning and have a chance to win prizes.

Missouri River Relief describes itself as a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting people to the Missouri River through hands-on river cleanups, education events and stewardship activities.

Since its first cleanup, in 2001, the group has held 154 community-based cleanups, enlisting the help of more than 22,500 volunteers to clean up over 842 tons of trash from both banks of 1,088 miles of river.

We encourage Central Missourians to join the effort to clean up the river that is an integral part of our community and our heritage.