Nearly two tons of trash removed from Missouri River

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – Nearly 2 tons of trash was picked up or removed from the water during the annual Missouri River – Lake Sharpe cleanup at Pierre and Fort Pierre last Wednesday evening.

98 volunteers — 11 boats and 10 land based crews — worked from just above Oahe Dam to Farm Island and collected 1.88 tons including 2,180 pounds of litter, 840 pounds of lumber, 540 pounds of scrap metal and over 200 pounds of tires. This year’s total was over 1000 pounds more than last year.

Event organizer Paul Lepisto with the Izaak Walton League says one of the GFP boats found a large culvert that had been washed into the river. He says other items found ranged from an old step stool to a water softener to entirely too much fireworks trash.

The 10th cleanup in the last 11 years has resulted in nearly 21 tons of trash being removed from areas along the river.

The cleanup is a collaborative effort of the Pierre Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers, the cities of Pierre and Fort Pierre, the South Dakota Department of Corrections and the Pierre Young Professionals. Many other local businesses and organizations also contribute to the effort.