May 20, 2010

The Flood of 2010

May 14th, 2010
Club Medfly, River mile 170

As the Missouri River crested here in Mid-Missouri last week, several of us self-proclaimed "river rats" went down to our clubhouse to watch the swollen river roll by. She must have been going at least 10 miles an hour, carrying a large load of debris that not only included trees of all sizes, but an assortment of floating trash! The river level was 27.6 and rising.

I couldn't help but start recording a tally of what I was watching float downstream, ultimately destined for the Gulf of Mexico, which already has its fair share of problems with the most devastating oil spill on record, I couldn't help but feel both sad but reinvigorated to expose this local, regional, national, and worldwide problem.

Here's a tally of what we watched float by in one evening:

1 Large Freezer
15 Styrofoam Chunks
7 Basket Balls
4 - 5 gallon Buckets
5 Aerosol spray cans
1 Green Buoy
1 Inflated Inner Tube
1 Large Metal Tank
7 Tires
1 Milk Jug
4 Oil/Detergent Jugs
1 Purple Sharpie
1 Perfume Bottle Lid
1 Deoderant Stick
2 Misc. Balls
1 Prescription Bottle
2 Peanut Butter Jars
2 Coolers
1 Plastic Lime
2 Water Jerry Jugs
1 Metal 5 gallon Bucket
...and countless plastic bottles!

In ten minutes we counted 74 plastic bottles go by, only as far as the eye could see that is. Ten Minutes! 74!

Plastic water & soda bottles are by far the #1 piece of trash we find out there. If more people started carrying their own re-usable drink containers and started drinking from the tap, we would alleviate so much of the pollution that this plastic is causing by getting into our waterways, the ocean, and its wildlife. Plastic bottles are a product of crude oil. Think about the impact we could make if we stopped using them! We have the choice, and it all starts with YOU!

Melanie Cheney
Missouri River Relief

Catfish stuck in a Plastic Bottle, photo by Colby Wrasse of the US Fish & Wildlife Service

a photo of a storm drain that goes directly into the Missouri River after a rain event

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