Volunteers remove more than 11 tons of trash from Missouri River

MISSOURI RIVER, Neb. Despite rain over the weekend, efforts to clean up the Missouri River were deemed “successful” as more than 11 tons of debris was removed from the river.

Volunteers came prepared, with rain gear and jackets, donning smiles and gratitude.

They boarded a boat and made way for some pre-scouted locations that were in great need for some tender loving care.

Nearly 150 people gave up some of their weekend to help Missouri River Relief, the youngest was a 4-1/2 year old girl. They collected 23,000 pounds of trash. That’s more than11 tons. The four miles river clean up yielded 28 cubic yards of Styrofoam chunks, 36 tires, and was called a huge success under difficult weather conditions.

Event coordinator Jen Davis said there were several reasons this event was held last Saturday despite the dreary conditions.

"The obvious reason to come and help out is that we clean the river and improve the ecosystem by removing trash and toxic plastics and all kinds of things that should not have ended up there in the first place,” she said. “But the other thing that is important about these events is that people don't often get access the Missouri River first hand. For some this is the first time they'll take a boat ride on the Missouri River."

Although river levels are higher than normal, coordinators said the river is considered safe near Omaha and that's why they decided to proceed with the cleanup effort.