|Operation Clean Stream|
Save the Date! 47th Annual Operation Clean Stream August 23 & 24th 2014!
About Operation Clean Stream
Since 1967, The Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region has organized Operation Clean Stream, one of the country's largest and longest running river restoration projects. The fourth weekend of every August, event volunteers take to the Meramec River and its tributaries, working to undo damage caused throughout the year by flooding, careless littering and the unlawful dumping of trash. Volunteers participate both in canoes and boats, as well as on the shore, in nearby parks, and along nearby trails.
About Passport to Clean Water Program
The Passport to Clean Water Program began in 2012 as an educational tool for young, Operation Clean Stream volunteers. Each year, organizations throughout the St. Louis Region, whose mission includes water quality, facilitate educational, interactive activities, discussions, and explorations that explain different aspects of water with youth and their families. Our goal with this program is to provide all participants with crucial, take-home knowledge on how they can improve water quality in their own daily lives. Groups that have already committed to participating in this year's program include Missouri Stream Team, Robinson Rain Barrels, Missouri Wildlife Rescue Center, St. Louis County Parks, Endangered Wolf Center and the Nature Conservancy. We anticipate more organizations, and in turn, a fun, successful day of knowledge and service to the Meramec River Watershed. Register for the Passport to Clean Water Program by clicking here.
Operation Clean Stream helped spur the Lower Meramec River Watershed's renaissance, and is in large part responsible for returning the river to its former glory. Gone are the days when dilapidated bank-side cabins lined the river, and trash that included cars and home appliances were common sights lodged along its shores. Today, the Meramec River Watershed is a pristine tribute to the thousands of volunteers who have worked throughout the past 40-plus years to reclaim and maintain this area gem.
"When an area is kept free of trash and other debris, visitors are more respectful and reluctant to add trash to the area."
Meramec River Recreation Association
2013 Operation Clean Stream a Great Success
The 2013 46th annual Operation Clean Stream saw estimates of 2,236 volunteers removing 344 cubic yards of trash, nearly 2,000 tires and various items from camper shells to living room furniture were quick to come in off of the water. Jerry Castillon, a long-time Operation Clean Stream volunteer stated, “There were fewer tires than I’ve ever seen in the past……..this is a great thing.” As the event continues, the Open Space Council continues to encourage citizens and communities to “Keep the rivers clean”
These successes were coupled with the second year of the educational program called Passport to Clean Water.
Passport to Clean Water informed the public, particularly youth, about the importance of clean water and increased awareness of regional water conservation. Various water topics were presented to young volunteers and their families as they walked a quarter mile trail along the Meramec River. Some of the topics incorporated the importance of native plants, water tables, fish and wildlife that live near the Meramec River, river function, the ecology of greenways, source drinking water protection, rain barrels, outdoor recreation, proper disposal of pharmaceuticals, and the water cycle. Students received stamps on their passports after each station and received a carabineer and compass as a take home prize for completing the program.
Check out photos from the 2013!