Twelve years ago Doug Snedden founded the Mississippi Cleanup Project (MCP) right here in Mississippi Mills. With the focus of cleaning up and restoring local waterways, streams, and lakes, the MCP annually undertakes the massive responsibility and undertaking of cleaning out the Mississippi River beginning in May each year and running well into September.
“Protecting water at its source is the first step in ensuring that every Ontarian has access to safe drinking water. By stopping contaminants from getting into sources of drinking water – lakes, rivers and aquifers – we can provide the first line of defense in the protection of our environment and the health of Ontarians.”
Snedden began the project back in 2005 after realizing that there were no government agencies or professional organizations actively removing solid waste from the local river system. In addition to cleaning the river of dangerous and hazardous materials, Snedden launched the MCP with the goals of restoring the natural environment, empowering residents and connecting communities to their vital river system.
The results have been nothing short of astounding over the tenure of Doug’s work cleaning out local waterways.
Each year Doug and his volunteers pull thousands of pounds of waste from local waterways including tires, scrap iron and steel, glass bottle, plastic bags, bicycles, car rims, pots, pans, waste barrels, chairs, sports equipment and a variety of other items, some of which are hard to believe.
Each year Snedden keeps a diary of each and every item pulled from the waterways on the MCP blog, along with images which really highlight both the stunningly large amount of waste as well as the admirable dedication Doug puts into the annual project.
As one can imagine, projects such as this require a great deal of equipment each and every year and rely on volunteers to both aid in the cleanup and provide the necessary equipment. In addition to watercraft, transportation, trash bags, snorkel gear, shovels and the like, basic equipment also includes drinking water, sunscreen and safety equipment for volunteers.
To learn more about the project or to lend a hand, check out the MCP website.