NewsMissoula County


Clark Fork Coalition's River Ambassadors clean up the river in Missoula

Posted at 3:15 PM, Jul 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-24 17:25:40-04

It is no secret that the Clark Fork River is very special to Missoula and its community. One group of volunteers is working hard to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy the water for the years to come.

During the last river cleanup, there were roughly 850 pounds of trash collected. And if that wasn’t picked up, it would have a lasting impact on our river, which runs deeper than we know.

“You know the Clark Fork River here is a wildly natural resource that runs through the Missoula Valley and that water it brings us here in the valley brings life along with it," said Charlie Rieck, Clark Fork Coalition lead river ambassador.

It is important to keep the river clean for future generations to come.

“So it's really important to sustainably use that resource so that we can have, you know, this beautiful river running through our backyard every, you know, for years to come,” said Rieck.

It's trash like cans and plastic that the group pulls out of the Clark Fork River, it can get stuck in the rocks and shoreline, taking years to decompose, if it does at all.

The cleanup is BYOB- Bring Your Own Boat- but the group will provide gloves and trash bags to those who participate. There are some tips and tricks to ensure that your trash makes it off the river with you, but river ambassadors know that spills happen, and that is why they are out there.

“They're river trash bags, they've got tie downs to strap their gear in, they've got you know their, you know, a way to handle their trash, but even with those best practices, sometimes people will take a spill and wrap it and creates little river trash, unfortunately,” said Rieck.

All are welcome for the river cleanup on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. starting at the Sha-Ron Fishing Point. However, if you are not able to make it to this cleanup, the group has reusable trash bags. So when you do get out on the water, you can do your part. A friendly reminder that if you pack it in, pack it out.

You can text TRASHY to 33222 for more information about trash pick-up locations and more river cleanup details.