Missouri River Clean-Up Yields a Ton of Trash

Cleaning up trash in Missouri River

Volunteers at this year’s Missouri River/Lake Sharpe clean-up in Pierre and Fort Pierre collected 2,540 pounds (1.27 tons) of trash and debris from the Missouri River. More than 80 volunteers in water- and land-based crews collected everything from spent fireworks to furniture, a toilet, and a refrigerator, which added up to:

  • 1,540 pounds of litter and trash
  • 780 pounds of lumber/rubble
  • 120 pounds of scrap metal
  • 100 pounds of tires

The clean-up was a coordinated effort of the Izaak Walton League, South Dakota Walleyes Unlimited, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers, the cities of Pierre and Fort Pierre, and area businesses and other organizations. Following the clean-up, volunteers enjoyed a fish fry in Griffin Park prepared by members of the League’s Pierre Chapter. Since 2009, more than 17.7 tons of trash and debris have been removed from Lake Sharpe through this clean-up effort – an average of more than 2.2 tons per year!

The Missouri River and Lake Sharpe are important to the quality of life and economy of the region. The annual clean-up makes the river healthier for fish and wildlife and gives people who recreate here, and whose businesses depend on outdoor recreation, an opportunity to give back to this precious resource.

The organizers greatly appreciate the contributions that made the clean-up successful. Including grants from the South Dakota Discovery Center (through the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the EPA), Thrivent Financial, and the city of Fort Pierre. The clean-up also benefited from donations from many other area businesses, agencies, and organizations. Planning has already begun for next year’s event.