The city of Owensboro and other Kentucky communities are partnering with a steamboat company on an environmental project to protect the Ohio River.
When the American Duchess Riverboat docked in Owensboro this week on its eight-city tour along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, it was more than just an opportunity for passengers to take a stroll and enjoy the music of some of the region’s talented bluegrass musicians.
The stop included an activity for the Community Outreach Project, a collaboration intended to study environmental issues affecting the Ohio River.
Owensboro-Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau spokesperson Katie Pickens said the steamboat’s stop included planting a tree and wildflowers to reduce the amount of rain that goes into the city's sewer system.
“Planting the tree and wildflowers keeps the soil from being washed away when water from the Ohio River is high,” said Pickens. "The root systems of native wildflowers stretch deeper into the soil than grass or sod and they're able to keep water runoff from injuring the Ohio River."
The ongoing environmental project is a collaboration of the Rotary Club of Owensboro, the regional water agency and the American Queen Steamboat Co.
"For Owensboro, our riverfront scence is vital to our tourism industry and projects like this highlight the value of our riverfront," said Pickens.
The steamboat company is also collaborating on the project with Kentucky Rotary Clubs in Louisville, Paducah, and Henderson. The regional collabooration also includes Rotary Clubs in Ohio River communities in Missouri and illinois.