September 27, 2011

Clean Sweep Results through September

Big Muddy Clean Sweep Logo

Kansas City River Clean-up - Saturday, Sept. 10th
Berkley Riverfront Park, river mile 365
Kansas City Missouri River Clean-up 9-10-11
We kicked off September with our biggest tradition and clean-up of the year, the Kansas City Missouri River Clean-up! Due to flooding and high river levels this year, we based the Kansas City Clean-up out of Berkley Riverfront Park where 20-year Clean-up Veteran and Kansas City Coordinator, Vicki Richmond made arrangements for volunteer groups to disperse to 11 land-based sites up and down the river.

For normally being a river-based operation, the clean-up was still a huge success and made cleaning up post-flood parks even more efficient.  257 volunteers showed up on a gorgeous late summer morning, to pick up their pumpkin orange Clean Sweep t-shirts, and sign up for one of the many pre-scouted land-based sites

Sites included Berkley Park, Riverfront Park, Kaw Point Park, the Chouteau Bridge, the Riverfront Heritage Trail, Stillwell and more!  Since there were so many separate sites, we are still working on compiling a tonnage estimate. Right now we are estimating close to 7 tons of debris cleaned up from 11 sites along the river. 

10th Anniversary Celebration - Wed.,Sept. 21st
Cooper's Landing, river mile 170
10 Years of Good Clean/Trashy Fun!
To celebrate a decade of accomplishments, and officially kick-off our Big Muddy Clean Sweep season, a crew & partners banquet was held on the banks of the Big Muddy Wednesday night at our home port, Cooper's Landing.  Our friends & local singer-songwriters continued their Wed. night tradition of serenading us on the river while River Relief wined & dined our long-time hard working crew with a buffet of smoked pork, homemade coleslaw & apple sauce, and good home brew donated from Broadway Brewery, while watching the sunset over the river on a beautiful late summer day, enjoying boat rides, camaraderie and a program to thank our founding members alongside a special recognition of  long time partner and owner of Cooper's Landing, Mike Cooper.  After dark, we lit 5 memorial paper lanterns (foshees) for those that were no longer with us.  It was absolutely breathtaking and beautiful.

Mid-Mo Group Clean-ups - Sept. 17th - 25th
Cooper's Landing, river miles 167 - 173
River Relief Clean-up with Sustain Mizzou 9-24-11
This river-based series of cleanups brought an impressive 186 volunteers on the river to remove 50 tires, 1/2 a ton of scrap metal and an estimated 2.6 tons of trash from 7 miles of river!  

Partial Trash Tally! 
178 bags of Trash
50 Tires
1/2 Ton of Scrap Metal:
100 lb Propane Tank
4 small Propane Tanks
3 Freon Tanks
1 Refrigerator Door
3 Car Fenders
2 55-gal. Metal Drums
1 Red Buoy
1 Double Cast Iron Sink
1 Fire Extinquisher
2 Sheets of Roofing Tin
1 Sponge Bob Bobber
1/2 of a Duck Boat
1 Cot
3 Lawn Chairs
2 Fishing Poles
1 55-gal. Blue Barrel
3 Deck Umbrellas
1 Concrete Nose
1 small Cooler filled with Oyster Mushrooms
1 Goose Head Decoy
1 Bag of Balls
1 Bowling Pin
1 kids Firefighte's Helmet
1 giant Light Bulb

Groups included:
(click on the group name to see photos from each clean-up!)

9/17 - Friends of Big Muddy & Missouri Master Naturalists

Check out this Great Missourian Article that just came out featuring the Friends of Big Muddy & Master Naturalists Clean-up that kicked it all off!

A Big Muddy Thanks to all the sponsors, crew & volunteers that helped make our September Clean Sweep a rockin' one!

Here's to kicking off October in the same light with one of our featured "big" clean-ups in Jefferson City on October 1st as we continue to roll on down the river.  Sign up today and find out more details about the Jeff City Missouri River Clean-up on our website here: barge has arrived!!! as of tonight in Jeff City, and we welcome folks to come check us out via Noren Access (or as we like to call it...Wilson's Serenity Point) or climb on up the new pedestrian walkway on the Missouri River bridge!
Clean Sweep Barge Moves Upriver 9-24-11
Following the clean-up on Sunday is the 2nd Annual Race to the Dome!  Folks can still sign up for this fun and scenic canoe race via, all proceeds from the race will benefit Missouri River Relief and our efforts to reconnect people to the Missouri River through hands-on river clean-ups, education and stewardship.

Stay tuned to our blog here or like us on our facebook page for the latest updates!

Most of all... hoping we'll "See You on the River~!"
    10th anniversary logo

    The Big Muddy Clean Sweep Begins!

    Big Muddy Clean Sweep Logo
     "River Relief begins Big Muddy Clean Sweep to remove trash for 170 miles in 8 towns on the Missouri River”
    Missouri River Relief is bringing barges upriver to Jefferson City to start a month-long voyage removing tons of trash and debris from the shores of the Missouri River. This endeavor — the Big Muddy Clean Sweep — is the flagship project of River Relief’s 10th Anniversary celebration.

    Missouri River Relief (MoRR) is operating two barges and a towboat to haul recovered debris along the 143-mile reach from the state capital to the Mississippi River. Clean Sweep Barge Moves Upriver 9-24-11 The River Cleanup Barge heads upriver towards Hermann on Sept. 24th, 2011photo by Dave Marner
    The Clean Sweep voyage will start with a community-based cleanup with hundreds of local volunteers on Saturday, Oct. 1 in Jefferson City and will finish Saturday, Oct. 29, with a community-based cleanup at the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area near St. Louis.  Click here for more information about the Jeff City Clean-up.

    The collected trash and debris will be hauled on a sand barge and unloaded at terminals on the Mississippi River for recycling or proper disposal at landfills. The MoRR barge team will stay on a quarters barge with office and storage space, cabins, a galley and a bathroom. 
    Both barges will be pushed by a towboat named “River Cleanup” provided by Living Lands & Waters, an equipment-based organization similar to MoRR that conducts cleanups on the Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio and many other rivers. The LL&W founder, Chad Pregracke, inspired the creation of MoRR at the first big Missouri River cleanup on Oct. 6, 2001. He was instrumental for the event’s success by bringing his boats, barges and crew to Easley, Mo., where 300 volunteers removed 30 tons of trash

    The Big Muddy Clean Sweep will be punctuated with stops at four river towns along the way — Jefferson City (Sept. 26-Oct. 2), Hermann (Oct. 3-9), Washington (Oct. 10-16), St. Charles(Oct. 17-23)— and at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. 
    These week-long moorings will enable MoRR to conduct community-based cleanups with hundreds of local volunteers, educational field trips, river festivals, barge tours and celebrations Check for specific dates and activities at MoRR’s website:

    Residents along the river that would like to be involved, or may know of trash or dumps accessible from the river that should be cleaned up may also contact Missouri River Relief through their website:

    The first Clean Sweep cleanups originally were planned in Kansas City and Cooper’s Landing in Boone County but due to high river levels and flooding this year, the project started in a leapfrog manner. The first cleanup occurred Saturday, Sept. 10 in Kansas City from land-based sites instead of by boat. More than 250 volunteers cleaned up an estimated 7 tons of trash from 11 sites, including several public parks ravaged by flooding.  Read more about the Kansas City Clean-up on our webpage.

    The second series of cleanups happened Sept. 17-25 at Cooper’s Landing while the barge fleet was being transported upstream with a towboat provided by Hermann Sand and Gravel Company. This boat-based cleanup brought 186 volunteers on the river to remove 50 tires, 1/2 ton of scrap metal and 2.6 tons of trash. Volunteers included students from Douglass High School, Columbia Home School Resource Group and Garden Gate School, employees from Columbia Wal-Mart stores and members of Friends of Big Muddy, Missouri Master Naturalist, Missouri Stream Team and Sustain Mizzou.

    MoRR and the Big Muddy Clean Sweep is the result of partnership, sponsors and volunteers who support the effort with time, energy, money and materials. Golden Mile sponsors, donating $10,000 or more to the Clean Sweep include Boeing, 3M, Missouri American Water, Solid Waste Management Districts, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Pat Jones. A complete list can be seen at the MoRR website   

    River Relief’s 10th anniversary will serve as a springboard for future growth, building on existing partnerships and identifying key individuals and organizations in communities to form a coalition of Missouri River Action Teams (MoRATs) interested in improving the health and beauty of the Missouri River for decades to come.

    Missouri River Relief is a non-profit organization based in Columbia, Mo., whose mission is to connect people to the Missouri River through hands-on river clean-ups, education events and restoration activities.  In just 10 years,the organization has made a visible & lasting difference on the river bringing together more than 14,000 volunteers to haul more than 1 million pounds of trash from 667 miles of river shores. 
    2011 marks Missouri River Relief’s 10th Anniversary.

    10th anniversary logo

    September 25, 2011

    Big Muddy Clean Sweep Log Book, Vol. 1 - Upstream

    Alton, IL  to Jefferson City
    diligently recorded by Jodi Pfefferkorn
    The first batch of entries in the Log, recording the trip from Alton, IL to Hermann, MO. The lead crew of the River Cleanup barge (Racin’ Dave Stevens & Jodi Pfefferkorn) works with Living Lands & Waters and Hermann Sand and Gravel to move the River Cleanup set-up upstream, picking up a sand flat from St. Charles along the way. Jeff Barrow, Anthony Pettit & Daniel Belshe join the crew in Hermann.

    Thursday – Sept. 22, 2011 
    Between Jeff in the River Relief van, Tammy in the Living Lands & Waters truck and Chad in a Living Lands & Waters plate boat, we were able to get all of our gear schlepped onto the barge by 2200. This included locking the plate boat up through the Alton Lock (#26) to pick up gear and back down again. Chad was pretty pumped when the lock master called him by name.

    Racin’ and I hadn’t eaten all day so we scarfed down a DiGiornio pizza at 2330 while waiting for our barge pick up. (We later found out that Jeff had to suffice with fritos that wee in the van – I guess barge food isn’t so bad).

    Friday – Sept. 23, 2011 
    We finished hooking up with our barge ride at 0145 near Wood River, IL. A strong Missouri River current & downhill flow to the Mississippi River made progress very slow at the Confluence. 1.3 mph for the first 3 hours, but managed a 2.3 mph pace by the time we reached Pelican Island.

    Racin and I took 2 hour turns in the pilot house of the “River Cleanup” tow boat. We needed to keep both engines at full throttle to help the Kathryn Ann pull us upriver. I was in the pilot house at 1100 when the Kathryn Ann’s starboard engine suddenly shut off. I looked over at the pilot house & saw one of the deck hands motioning for me to pull back on my throttles. I complied and when I looked ahead I noticed that the barges were making a B-line for the bank. I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. Before too long, the Kathryn Ann was reversing full throttle and we were underway again. I later found out that the second of the Kathryn Ann’s two pilots ran the tow boat over a wing dike, lifting her rudder up through the hull. When we got to St. Charles, the second captain asked to be let off the barge. He was literally dropped off on the bank.

    We got to St. Charles around 1600 & stopped to pick up a sand flat from Gateway Dredging. While we were rigging up the flat, Jeff drove the 150 out to meet us and drop off supplies. He got a tour of our set-up & met the Kathryn Ann's crew - Chris, Kenny "Junior" & Capt. Steve. We were underway again by 1700.

    We significantly picked up speed again & averaged 3.8-5.0 mph for the day. We pulled over & tied off for the night (to a tree) around 2330.

    Clean Sweep Barge Moves Upriver 9-24-11
    Hermann Sand & Gravel Kathryn Ann pulls the River Cleanup up to Hermann. photo by Dave Marner
    Hermann Big Muddy Clean Sweep 2011
    River Cleanup tow at Hermann Riverfront - photo by Steve Schnarr
    Saturday – Sept. 24, 2011
    We were back on the river by 07:00 & kept 4 MPH average all day. Racin’ Dave & I kept our 2 hour shifts in the pilot house of the River Cleanup towboat. As far as food goes, I’ve cooked breakfast the past few days and Racin’ has taken care of dinner (we fend for ourselves at lunch). For breakfast: tomato, onion, & cheese omelets with bacon yesterday; and fried eggs with bacon and toast today. Racin’ made pork chops with boiled for dinner yesterday J. We tied up at the Hermann Sand & Gravel Plant at 1945. We have finally arrived! Dinner at “The Barrel” bar and restaurant, with Junior, Chris, Gale, & Jeff then some much needed rest.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 
    It was day of errands. Jeff, Racin’, & Gale motored upstream to the Gasconade River to check out a work barge that the Corps of Engineers had. I stayed behind to get some editing done. No editing got done though, because I brought the wrong power cord for my hard drive...

    When they came back, Jeff stayed on the barge to get some work done while Racin’, Gale, & I took the van into town to get groceries and odds & ends. Gale and Jeff headed out in the late afternoon. Habibi & Anthony are coming tomorrow!

    Monday, September 26, 2011
    Wake up call at 0620. After breaking our fast with breakfast burritos and coffee, Racin’ & I set about making our game plan for the day. Items that we needed to address were…
    1)    Get the Port-o-potties emptied and refilled.
    2)    Fill the water tank in the basement
    3)    Get diesel fuel for the engines and generator.
    4)    Fill up tanks and get two more. Before we could do any of this, we had to ask Steve to tow our barge over the Hermann boat ramp because we were moored across the river at Hermann Sand & Gravel.
    Captain Steve graciously offered to help us, so Racin’ and I set about making phone calls. When it was all said and done, we were able to get items 1 and 3 completed. We also took on two new crew members! Habibi and Boudreaux are officially on board with us.

    Racin’ quickly put them to work changing the hydraulic filter. Habibi also whipped up a delicious dinner of pork steaks and mashed potatoes.  It was the best way to end a task-filled day in which only two tasks were filled.  Midnight cruise anyone???

    Tuesday, September 26, 2011

    Early wake-up call today: 0630. By 0700 Anthony & Racin’ had left in the 150 to go upriver to discuss borrowing a work flat from the Army Corps of Engineers boat yard at the mouth of the Gasconade River. Habibi & I set about getting some cleaning done. We completely dleaned & organized the basement, which was quite a task. By 0945 Anthony had returned (Racin’ stayed with our new tow crew from Jefferson City River Terminal.) Habibi & Anthony took the 150 to the Hermann boat ramp to make a hardware store run.

    At 1045, the JCRT boat “Jamie Leigh” arrived with our work flat. By 1145 we were all hooked up & cruising upriver. We were only able to go about 3.7 mph because the work flat sits so low and kept taking on water. We did some re-rigging and were able to push on at around 5.5 mph

    Racin’ Dave & I were able to take our first showers in 6 days thanks to the generosity of the amie Leigh deckhand, John. He let us use the shower on their tug & I even got to do some laundry!!

    After a spaghetti lunch, compliments of Habibi, we all set out cleaning everything from the galley windows to the cobwebs around the house barge.

    No rest for the weary…at around 1600 the boys had to pump out the hull of the house barge. The head had a small leak which we were aware of. But we weren’t aware that none of the other compartments had been checked for several months. It was a momentary stress for Racin’, but he was reassured after giving Geoff Manis a call at LLW and getting the scoop.

    Passed the Osage River around 1945, eating a deluxe chili dinner prepared by Anthony. A perfect dish for this chilly evening.

    We pulled up into Jeff City at 2230. We finished tying up and said our good-byes to Capt. Mark & John by 2300.

    Jeff & Steve were here waiting for us. Welcome aboard boys!