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Science and the Environment

River Rescue 2007

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/riverrescu_982.mp3

A major cleanup will be held on the James River this weekend. Michele Skalicky reports.

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The James River offers a variety of recreational opportunities, from floating to fishing to just relaxing and letting the kids catch crawdads.

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But hidden beneath the James' waters lies trash, left behind by the few irresponsible people who use the river and dumped by those who don't.

That's why James River Basin Partnership organizes a big cleanup each year on the James. The 15th annual JRBP River Rescue 2007 will be held this Saturday on a four-mile stretch of the river.

Holly Neill is executive director of James River Basin Partnership. She says it's the largest clean-up the group organizes annually, and the public's invited to help.

According to Neill, around 160 people usually help out, and they hope for even more this year.

She says they usually clean up around a ton of trash during each river rescue.

This is the 15th year for the River Rescue. Ozark Mountain Paddlers led it for a long time before teaming up with the James River Basin Partnership. Neill says they're sometimes surprised by what they find.

Neill says, by holding the cleanup, they're making the James River a more pleasant river for people to play in. While some might not immediately think of the James when they want to go canoeing, Neill says it's a good floating river that offers other recreational opportunities as well.

The JRBP River Rescue 2007 gets underway Saturday morning at 9. Lunch and t-shirts will be provided. To reserve a canoe, call 836-4847.

An event Saturday night will raise money for James River Basin Partnership. The 4th annual Beer, Brats and Bluegrass festival will start at 6 at the Historic Ozark Mill in Ozark.

Tickets for the concert, which will feature the Arkamo Rangers, Loose Ends and Lyal Strickland, are $6 and will be available at the gate.

Reporting from the James River east of Springfield, I'm Michele Skalicky.