CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is accepting sign ups now for the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center’s fifth annual Floatin’ on the Mississippi River event Aug. 25-26. Participants 16 years and older may enjoy a float from Trail of Tears State Park to Red Star Access, enjoy lunch on a sandbar and explore the river with expert guides.
Nature Center Manager Sara Turner said this event is for experienced paddlers only and all participants must attend the Friday night session about navigation, river flows, hazards, and other important information to participate in the float.
“This is a great opportunity to introduce people who are already passionate about floating to the Mighty Mississippi,” Turner said. “Most people are a bit skeptical of floating the Mississippi because of the current, its size, the obstacles, and the large boats they may encounter. Our Resource Science Division does an excellent job of encouraging participants to have fun while being aware of what is going on in the river at all times.”
Turner said participants also learn the importance of the river as a resource to Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area. She said although the Nature Center has a limited supply of canoes to use for this event, participants may bring their own canoe or kayak.
“We hope to help instill an appreciation of the Mississippi and all it has to offer,” Turner said. “If people can see the work MDC is doing on the river, how the river habitat impacts people and wildlife, and see how to use it safely for recreation, they’ll be more likely to take a greater interest in becoming stewards of conservation along the river.”
Turner said people who participate in this event become immersed in the tranquility of such a large body of water while enjoying the comradery of people with similar interests.
“Many past participants said they enjoyed getting an up-close look at the banks, sandbars, and various smaller channels of the river with the conservation professionals who work on the river daily,” she said.
Participants must preregister for this event by calling (573)290-5218. Those ages 12 to 15-years-old may participate as a passenger. For information on this and other nature programs go online to www.mdc.mo.gov/CapeNatureCenter.