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New cleanup efforts aim to improve Zumbro River in downtown Rochester

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River cleanup

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Rochester city officials launched a cleanup effort Tuesday in an effort to improve the Zumbro River's health and to help preserve it for years to come.

The clean up is funded by Destination Medical Center and it's part of a partnership between DMC, Rochester Downtown Alliance, and the Rochester Community Action Team.

The goal is to highlight the importance of waterways like the Zumbro River and draw attention to the underused water feature.

"For the first year, we didn't want to bring volunteers into the mix because we weren't sure of what we would find," RDA Director of Operations Karli McElroy said. "We're using this as a baseline to see what the condition of the river is, how much debris is in it and how much we should come out and do this. This is something we know, that rivers need continuing maintenance and we're going to try and come out again after this when it's needed."

The Rochester Clean and Safe Ambassadors, RDA employees and two Rochester police officers cleaned up debris and garbage along the river. As of early afternoon, they had collected numerous plastic bags, cups and other garbage and one crew member found $60 in cash.

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Megan Zemple

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