Dozens of volunteers have signed up for a week-long river cleanup project in northeast Iowa this month. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Brian Soenen says this is the ninth year the state has organized a Project AWARE event.
Some 1,700 volunteers have taken part in first eight projects. “In those eight years, they’ve pulled over 150 tons of garbage out (of Iowa rivers) and about 60-percent of all that garbage has been recycled,” Soenen said.
This year’s expedition, scheduled for July 9 to 16, will cover 90 miles on the Little Turkey, Turkey and Volga rivers. “We’ll be canoeing through the communities of Clermont, Elgin and Elkader,” Soenen said. “I think folks who join us this year will be real impressed…with the dramatic landscapes and clear waters. As we paddle down river, you’ll be able to see the bottom of the stream.”
The expedition lasts an entire week, but volunteers can help for as long as they want. Tent camping is free for volunteers and the DNR provides some canoes.
Soenen says he’s always surprised by the items pulled from Iowa’s rivers during the annual effort. “Certainly you have tires and barrels and things like that, but sometimes we’ll find small and unique things. Somebody found a mercury head dime that was down inside part of a car door they picked out,” Soenen said.
Preregistration is required for those who wish to volunteer for the river cleanup. Click HERE for more information.
(photo provided by Iowa DNR)