Last summer the Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance (MCCA), and Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) students, of Conservation Federation of Missouri, launched canoes and kayaks from Pulltite to float to Round Spring conducting a stream team cleanup of the Current River.

Some participants were old floating pros, others less experienced, but all shared a love of the outdoors and being on the water.

Students weren’t shy collecting trash; pulling bottles from aquatic plants, collecting plastic from the banks and diving down to retrieve trash trapped under the gravel.

As the float progressed MCCA and CLC members pushed themselves in an attempt to fill their stream team bags to the top. Many students went out of the way to cross to an opposite bank or swim alongside the canoes with goggles to identify and remove litter. 

By the float’s end the bags were still fairly roomy, but the extra room showed the Current is still one of those rare natural treasures vastly unscathed from human damage.

The Current River is a unique jewel of Missouri’s many waterways. Still pristine and teaming with wildlife, students enjoyed the company of great blue heron resting tranquilly along the shaded river and playful mink scurrying along the bank.

CLC and MCCA students look forward to returning to the Current River this summer to enjoy a day out on the river and continue their stewardship.

By Ashley Hollis