Anyone know if that box in the bottom right hand corner still in the river? :idea:
It's not. I suspect it might have been a sort of themed buoy or marker for the canoes, to avoid coming too close to the island near the "splash down" part of the ride. Though that's just an educated guess.... Maybe it's simply a piece of decoration that was removed and never put back in place.
As for the water color -- it's tempting to think that it's that dirty, but most of the color is actually deliberate. The shade used has been changed since opening, but most of it simply helps hide the riverboat rails and other equipment. Compare it to Le Pays des Contes de Fées which has (or at least used to have) the same somewhat murky green color, and that bassin is emptied regularly.
Personally I think that it adds a touch of realism to the Rivers of the Far West without going all the way into the dull brown tones of the Mississippi or the reddish Colorado.
That said, I wouldn't want to swim in there either and it could definitely use some cleaning (along with touch-ups to the rockwork lining the river). But unfortunately in our park draining the river would mean closing one of the most popular attractions, Big Thunder Mountain, for a very long time. Add to that the cost of the operation and I think we're not going to see this happen until it's strictly necessary.