A lot of Iowans could be spending this July 4th holiday canoeing or fishing in a river. They might be surprised with what they find in that river. A recent trip down a 112 mile stretch of the Raccoon River netted 27 tons of trash.
The annual clean-up effort organized by the DNR is known as "Project Aware". Brian Soenen, with the DNR, says this summer’s event involved a record 370 volunteers. He says more than 60 percent of the people involved this year were new to Project Aware. Soenen says the trash included patio furniture, kitchen appliances, and couches.
"We had 247 tires this year, a basketball hoop, a tool box from a pickup, bicycles and bicycle parts, plus numerous cans and bottles." Soenen says the volunteers range in age from their teens to 70-somethings. Some have volunteered all five years that Project Aware has existed in Iowa.