The Big Muddy Clean Sweep: Living on the River, for the River

Missouri River Relief’s very own Alyssa Thomas shared the story of the Big Muddy Clean Sweep for March 2022’s presentation.

Published: March 8, 2022

Online Presentation by AmeriCorps Alyssa Thomas, Missouri River Relief

Click here to view the presentation on YouTube.

Picture of some core crew members hauling a trailer of trash.

Hosted by Missouri River Relief 

Missouri River Relief’s very own Alyssa Thomas spoke on her experiences preparing for and participating in a momentous cleanup. In honor of Missouri River Relief’s 20th Anniversary, a 2-month-long rolling cleanup project was launched. The “Big Muddy Clean Sweep” took place from mid-August to mid-October of 2021. This type of cleanup has been done a couple times in Missouri River Relief’s past; but this time Operations Manager Kevin Tosie envisioned that the most efficient and best overall statement would be to get a core crew together and STAY on the river. To wake up, eat, clean, eat, clean, eat, sleep, then do it all again the next day (never in that order).

For this presentation, Alyssa will discussed all aspects of the Clean Sweep–she talked about how the project came to life, introduced us to the core crew, the day-to-day, the hardships, and shared some fun stories! This project was tracked through various means, from marking all their stops on a map, to recording some of their day-by-day activities in a blog. All in all, the impact totals came out to 343 volunteers, 11 cleanups, 847 bags of trash, 382 tires, and 23.6 TONS of trash!

Alyssa Thomas graduated in 2019 from Central Methodist University with a B.S. in Marine Biology. In April 2021, she accepted the AmeriCorps VISTA position with Missouri River Relief as the Stewardship and Outreach Assistant. Recently, she has accepted a second year with MRR. Alyssa enjoys working alongside Kevin, the Operations Manager, learning the ins and outs of putting together MRR’s infamous cleanup projects, like the Big Muddy Clean Sweep.

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The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport

is hosted by these wonderful partners.

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place in Kansas City and St. Charles.


The views and opinions expressed by our presenters do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Missouri River Relief, the Big Muddy Speaker Series or any of the partners that support this public forum. The Big Muddy Speaker Series believes that hearing diverse perspectives is a crucial building block for an informed public.


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