March 22, 2010

Our Mari-Osa Story (so far)

Mari-Osa Dump, June 2007, before we started - photo by Racin' Dave

Mari-Osa Dump Clean-up (Take Three)
Mari-Osa Public Access on the Osage River
March 6th & 7th, 2010

This has been our third year returning to the Mari-Osa Delta for a river clean-up. What spawned this tradition was a phone call from our friend Jeff Finley of the US Fish & Wildlife Service back in 2007. We were doing a clean-up further down the Osage River and he mentioned that we should go upstream and check out a legendary dumpsite near the MariOsa ramp. After we wrapped up the clean-up, Racin’ Dave and Anthony headed up to scout the dump. We’d never seen anything like it.

For a hundred years, people had been dumping their garbage off the top of a beautiful bluff overlooking the Osage. The refuse had spilled all the way to the river. On the right are a couple pictures Racin’ took that day. The dump was just upstream and across the river from the MariOsa Boat Ramp, so logistically it seemed like an ideal location to take on a massive dump like this.


The first year, 2008, we worked for a day and a half on the site. As soon as volunteers arrived at the site, boats began filling with huge appliances and car parts. We filled four scrap metal rolloffs that day and one landfill rolloff. Almost 19 tons of garbage!
Click here for more details of the first Mari-Osa event...

The big stuff was mostly gone, so we needed a new strategy to get stuff safely down the hill. Our Captain John Breyfogle reclaimed a 4’x20’ plastic culvert that washed up on his Missouri River beach, cut it into pieces, then reassembled it at the dump to serve as a “trash flume”. The toughest bunch of volunteers I’ve ever seen worked on the hill, and six other dump sites in the area. Over 13.1 tons of junk were removed that day.

and you really need to see the Trash Flume video...

Because most of the auxiliary dumps were taken care of in 2009, we decided to focus more exclusively on the dump. The only advertisement we did was contacting folks that worked on the site last year. Still, over 130 volunteers worked on this clean-up – AWESOME! Over 12 tons of junk removed from the riverside in one day!

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