PIERRE, S.D.(KCCR)- A group of nearly 70 volunteers gathered Wednesday night to clean up Lake Sharpe and the Missouri River in the Pierre/Fort Pierre area. Event organizer Paul Lepisto says the 2022 clean-up netted a record-breaking amount of debris, doubling the average collection.
Officially four-point-one-four tons of material was collected by land and water based collection crews. Lepisto says the doubling of debris tonnage is likely due to drought conditions and not careless river users.
Lepisto says the amount of illegally dumped materials collected was down, despite the significant increase in weight.
This year, two-point-nine tons of rubble and debris was collected along with 15-hundred 80-pounds of litter and trash. There was 800 pounds of scrap metal collected and 100 pounds of tires. After 12 clean-ups along the river nearly 27 tons of material has been cleared from the river. Eleven local restaurants and businesses donated food, beverages an d ice to feed volunteers at the end of the three-hour collection period.