Volunteers will soon have an opportunity to spend their vacations working as aquatic garbage collectors -- cleaning up, learning about and exploring more than 90 miles of the Iowa River between Dows and Marshalltown in north-central Iowa -- July 7 to 14.
Project AWARE, which stands for A Watershed Awareness River Expedition, is the Iowa DNR’s annual volunteer river cleanup event. In addition to muscling trash out of the river, participants learn about watersheds, water quality, recycling and other natural resource topics. This year’s expedition marks AWARE’s tenth year.
Volunteers can officially join the river cleanup by paddling the river or by assisting with land-based recycling initiatives, but there are opportunities for others to experience Project AWARE as well. “Infotainment” programs, for example, are held each evening and are open to the public.
Registration is not required for the general public to attend evening programs, but it is required for those who wish to volunteer for the river cleanup itself. To avoid a late registration fee, volunteers are asked to have their registration forms postmarked by Friday, June 22. Tent camping is free for volunteers and a limited number of canoes are available for those who need them.
Additional information can be found on the Project AWARE website – www.iowaprojectaware.com.
Event sponsors include:
Platinum Paddle Sponsors: Franklin County Conservation Board · Hardin County Community Endowment Foundation · Hardin County Conservation Board · IIHR - Hydroscience & Engineering, The University of Iowa · Iowa DNR - IOWATER, Rivers Programs · Iowa Flood Center · Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust · Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation · McDowell & Sons Contractors · Rock-n-Row Adventures · Scenic City Civic Foundation · State Hygienic Laboratory at The University of Iowa
Golden Yoke Sponsors: Alliant Energy Foundation · Ansell Healthcare · Iowa DNR Financial and Business Assistance · Iowa State University Recreation Services · Port's Canoe & Kayak Livery · Rockwell Collins · Rural Iowa Waste Management Association · Steamboat Rock Historical Society
Silver Stern Sponsors: City of Iowa Falls · City of Marshalltown · Ellsworth Community College · Flint Hills Resources · Hy-Vee, Inc. · Integrated DNA Technologies · M. Gervich & Sons · Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls, Inc. · Riverbend Middle School - Iowa Falls Community School District · Solid Waste Management Commission of Marshall County · Upper Iowa University · Whink Products Company
River Steward Sponsors: Bridgestone Americas, Inc. · Campbell Supply Co. · Caterpillar Elkader LLC · Connie Struve · Culligan of Iowa Falls · Eagle City Winery · Eldora State Training School for Boys · Green Belt Bank & Trust · Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association - Central Iowa Fly Fishers · Iowa Whitewater Coalition · Lennox Industries · Scenic City Empress Boat Club · Snyder & Associates, Inc. · Sqwincher Corporation · Stine Seed Company · Touch the Earth Outdoor Recreation and Education - University of Iowa