Minnesota River Interviews - Brand Frentz and Joe Michel

Minnesota River Interviews
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"[Our Canoe Club] did a survey of all the rivers in the county to get the location of the dump sites and navigation hazards... We found around 300 of them."


Interview Transcript

Video Text:
Brand Frentz: "My best experience was in 2001, Blue Earth County came to the Canoe Club and said, “we’d like to do a survey of all the rivers in the county, get the location of the dump sites and navigation hazards.”  And I got put in charge of that project. And so for the next three, four, into the fourth summer, we did paddle all the miles -- all 305 (I think it is) of the six rivers. The six rivers are: Minnesota, Blue Earth, Watonwan, Le Sueur, Cobb, and Maple.  And it’s quite a bit and there’s some real brushy areas.  One three hour stretch I think had 25 portages, and they’re not portages that were there when we arrived, bushwhack portages that we figured out how we could possibly land and drag your boat up and how you could possible get through the woods that had high weeds.  Miserable stuff, but we did it all.

We have an expectation, so we couldn’t say more or less. [It was] roughly one dump site a mile -- we found around 300 of them. We dealt with the primary purpose was to find dump sites and the idea was that then we could talk about cleaning them up. But first we have to know what we got and we have to talk. However, we hadn’t gone very far in the project and we could see that the amount of work required to clean them up was way beyond anybody’s capacity if they did have the will because we found [so many]. For example we found several where the town of St. Clair, town of Good Thunder has a city dump in the river.

The money that it would cost [to clean it up], you can’t imagine, it is inconceivable. Volunteers can make little changes here and there but not much. So that is the main thing we found about dump sites."




This page was last updated 8/08