MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The City of St. Paul has joined other Twin Cities partners and Mississippi River leaders to launch the Mississippi River Plastic Pollution Initiative.
In an attempt to combat plastic pollution along the Mississippi River, cities such as St. Paul, Saint Louis, and Baton Rouge are promoting the smartphone app, Marine Debris Tracker.
In a recent statement, St. Paul city officials said the pilot phase of the initiative will take place between April 1 and April 25. During this time community volunteers of any experience level can help track plastics and other trash to help scientists, policy-makers, businesses, and community members take informed action.
The initiative operates under the leadership of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI), the mayors of the Mississippi River in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, National Geographic Society and the University of Georgia.
The pilot will be the first data snapshot in an ongoing endeavor to promote education and outreach about plastics in inland waters and support local data collection events in Mississippi watershed communities.
According to city officials, community members can collect data on their own or as part of an organized event, such as St. Paul’s annual Citywide Spring Cleanup on April 24 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter expressed the importance of preserving the Mississippi River and its clean water in a recent statement.
“As the capital city in the headwater state of the Mississippi River, we have a responsibility to send clean water to the rest of the country and beyond,” Carter said. “Through the MRCTI Mississippi River Plastic Pollution Initiative, our community can engage in supporting thriving neighborhoods, parks, and waterways while contributing to a national, river-wide initiative.”
The group 1 Mississippi is hosting all the local information on the initiative, the app, tracking maps and partner-led events, as well as ways individuals can stay involved beyond April, on their website.
The app is currently available on Android and iPhone.
Source: CBS Minnesota