This weekend I participated in the Confluence Trash Bash for the third time. This is a huge annual event, hosted by several organizations, to clean up trash along local waterways near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
This year, we signed up to work with Missouri River Relief on Mosenthein Island, which they describe as a “trash trap” in the Mississippi. It’s not much to look at this time of year, but this is the island from the opposite shore.
During our safety talk I learned that the invasive Asian carp has made its way to this portion of the Mississippi and to watch out for flying fish. I did actually spot one on our way back across, luckily it was not near the boat!
Looking towards the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge from Mosenthein Island.
As always I had to document my first piece of trash.
For an island, there seemed to be a whole lot of animal tracks to be found. Lots of hoof prints and these paw prints which I’m thinking might be coyote.
Katie climbed up this ridge for some plastic bottles and figured she might as well grab the tire too, but had no feasible way to carry it down.
We assumed if she rolled it it would get snagged on one of these logs.
Whoops. Luckily one of our River Relief guides came by soon after and fished it out.
I quickly learned I should not climb any ridges, because I slipped and landed butt-first into a big pile of mud right off the bat.
We were both enamored with this giant downed tree. Look at the size of those roots! Hard to imagine what could rip this thing out of the ground.
Once we got into the wooded area of the island, we started to find the really interesting trash. We were told that a lot of the stuff littering the island is actually leftover from the 1993 flood, which might explain the household items like this deep freeze.
Nearby we found the absolute jackpot of glass bottles like the one this snail was enjoying. They were almost all stamped from the late 80s and early 90s.
We removed five bags of mostly bottles from just one small clearing.
In just 2 hours our boat cleared this entire pile of trash from this small section of the island!
If you’re interested in participating in other events like this, Missouri River Relief does many events throughout the year all over the state!