Friends of the Souris cleans the river, advocates for more recreational access

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – An organization in Minot is doing its part in keeping the Souris River clean and share a message about its cause along the way.

After a long winter, trash gathers in parts of the Souris River, like this dead loop near Oak Park, making it not only unappealing to look at, but also very dangerous to wildlife in the area.

To help clear the river, members of the Friends of the Souris River get on their kayaks and canoes and get to work.

“A lot of stuff gets thrown off the bridges around here. Plastic bags, plastic bottles, a lot of Styrofoam that goes by,” said Heidi Super, a volunteer with Friends of the Souris River.

Members of the group said their efforts are not just for the wildlife, but for the community.

“It’s really difficult to recreate on our river. We have ordinances against it, as a matter of fact, and we are trying to change that slowly but surely by getting people to realize it’s not a trash heap it’s a vital asset that a lot of people enjoy,” said Shannon Straight, an organizer with Friends of the Souris River.

Since 2014, the group has cleared out more than 16 tons of trash and has advocated for more use of the river.

“There’s a canoe and kayak launch that’s been put in by the Ward County Parks Vision Committee that we are grateful for and so we want to continue to draw attention to that so that we can increase the discussion and figure out the spots where we can put more canoe and kayak launches to make it easier,” said Straight.

The Friends of Souris River actively work with city and state leaders to help achieve their goals, all while making the earth a little less polluted.

If you want to help with the cleanup efforts, the community can join the Friends of the Souris River on June 15 to paddle the dead loops in East Minot.

For more information, visit their website.

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