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Conservation Group Recieves Grant

Michael Zimny

A South Dakota organization has received a $10,000 grant to clean up the Missouri River. The group will focus on public awareness to help stop pollution.

The Izaak Walton League is a national conservation group. The South Chapter has organized Missouri River clean ups for many years, but wanted to take on a more proactive role. The League received the grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation to start the Missouri River Initiative. Paul Lepisto says the program hopes to educate the public on keeping litter out of the river.

“The League has helped, worked with the Corps of Engineers, and the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on really big clean-up efforts in Yankton, Pierre and Fort Pierre in the past. And the ultimate goal through this project and those annual clean-ups we do is to literally put ourselves out of business. We would like to get out of the clean-up business in these communities. By making sure the river is clean and there is no trash and debris out there,” says Lepisto.

Lepisto says they plan to implement public awareness programs in Pierre, Fort Pierre and Yankton. He says people helping to keep trash out of storm drains will make a difference.

Credit Michael Zimny