Volunteers come together to help keep Mississippi River clean - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Volunteers come together to help keep Mississippi River clean


Early summer flooding is a major reason for trash on the Mississippi River Saturday, and Living Lands and Waters along with volunteers did their part to clean-up the area.

The Mississippi River is one of the largest rivers in the United States, and volunteers like first timer Nikki Neiswinter said it's not uncommon to see trash on the river.

"I mean I go out on the river myself and when we go into the different areas and stuff, there's always garbage around and who cleans it up?" she wondered.

Neiswinter admits the trash is depressing to see.  

"You think you're on the river and you're with nature and the last thing you want is trash floating down the river or on the islands," she said.  

Dozens answered the call and found garbage all over land masses and near the river. Everything from TV sets to barrels, and even a portion of a chair.

Live Lands and Waters founder Chad Pregracke has spend the last 15 years trying to do his part keep the water garbage free.  He can see an improvement since when he first started.

"I came through here in 1998 and I spent a lot of time and I mean it was unbelievable. Now since we've been doing all the cleanups and a lot of people have come and helped us out, we've made a tremendous difference," Pregracke said.  

Living Lands and Waters started in Minnesota about a month ago cleaning up the Mississippi River.  They have another cleanup today going on in Hannibal as well, and there goal is to get all the way down to New Orleans.

Pregracke said even if you're not an avid boater or don't enjoy coming out on the river, it's important you do your part because the Mississippi affects almost everyone in the area.

"There's 937 towns or cities along the river. And about 98% of them get their drinking water directly out of the river so its really important to keep it clean," Pregracke said.

The next stop for Living Lands and Waters is in St. Louis later next week.

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