Ever wonder what it was like to be Huck Finn or Lewis and Clark exploring an Iowa river? This summer you can have the chance to find out. Tom O’Neill of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says they’re now signing up volunteers for their second “Project AWARE.”Project AWARE stands for “A Watershed Awareness River Expedition.” He says some people think its just about pulling trash out of a river, but he says it’s more than that. He says its about water-quality testing and awareness. He says they have programs each day to educate participants about the importance of watersheds and the role they play in living in a watershed. The first project was on the Maquoketa River in eastern Iowa, while this year they’ll float on the Des Moines River in the middle or the state from Fort Dodge to Des Moines. He says they’ll start on June 19th and take a week riding the river in canoes, cleaning up garbage and testing water quality. O’Neil says all volunteers are welcome.He says anybody and everybody is welcome. He says last year they had a canoe with a college graduate and a retired plumber. He says they had people from all walks of life, including people that care about the environment. O’Neil says there are a couple of ways to sign up.You can go to the D-N-R website and click on the Keepers of the Land link. Or call him at 515-281-4539. The D-N-R website is:www.iowadnr.com. O’Neil says it’s free to participate, but you do have to bring your own meals, or you can pay for a catering service that will be provided.
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