Staff members from the Missouri Department of Conservation will offer a free boat tour of the Missouri River at the beginning of August, in the Kansas City area.

According to a press release from the MDC, the boat tour will allow participants a chance to experience the river on the water. The MDC says it is a 'far different experience than glancing at it from a bridge.'

The MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will host the Missouri River boat trip from LaBenite Park in Sugar Creek, downstream to the general area of Fort Osage, and then back to LaBenite.

The river tour will provide a chance to see wildlife, but the MDC says that the river also offers a unique vantage point to observe the Kansas City area. The trip will include discussions on the Missouri River’s history, ecology, hydrology, and changes made for navigation and flood control.

The discussions will also include public river access sites and using the waterway for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.

The river tour will take place August 1.

MDC education specialist Heather Shellenberg said, "There’s unique wildlife viewing and we’ve seen deer, a couple of bald eagles, beaver, muskrat, and lots of shore birds.”

Registration is required for the river cruise but space is limited. Registration begins July 3. For more information, call the MDC Discovery Center, at 816-759-7300 or visit the MO Department of Conservation's website.

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