Great Mississippi River Cleanup kicks off

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(Photo courtesy of Living Lands & Waters)

Thousands of volunteers are expected to descend on the banks of the Mississippi River this weekend for the Great Mississippi River Cleanup.

The cleanup, organized by Living Lands and Waters, begins tomorrow and has now expanded to 30 cities around the Midwest. In the Upper Midwest, the cleanup will run from St. Paul, Minn. to Prairie Du Chien, Wis.

Other Minnesota cities joining this northernmost leg of the cleanup include Red Wing, Wabasha, and Winona.

In Wisconsin, volunteers will participate in Alma, Buffalo City, and LaCrosse.

As many as 1,500 volunteers are expected to take part in this year’s clean-up of the iconic waterway.

Later this summer, volunteers will also gather at other cleanup sites, including:

  • July 9th, Guttenberg to Clinton, IA
  • August 13th, Quad-Cities to Keokuk, IA
  • September 17th, Canton, MO through St. Louis, MO.

“Doing the clean up in phases will help bring our important message to more people,” Living Lands & Waters Founder and President Chad Pregracke said in a statement. “And that’s part of what Living Lands & Waters is all about: bringing the health of our rivers to the attention of everyone who depends upon them, and then working to improve it.”

According to Living Lands & Waters, the organization has removed more than six million pounds of trash through cleanup efforts along the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois and Potomac Rivers since its launch more than 12 years ago.

The group has also coordinated flood relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the historic floods in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Lake Delton, Wis., in 2008.

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