Save Maumee’s 3rd Annual ~ Canoe Clean-Up, Can YOU Clean-Up? Update

3rd Annual Update to Save Maumee’s Canoe Clean Up, Can YOU Clean-Up?

~Underbelly of the St. Mary’s River Uncovered~

What an interesting day THANK YOU to all Save Maumee’s 60 energetic river workers! Police, a meth amphetamine lab, batteries, full fire extinguisher & spray paint, Kids Dart, Think Smart yard sign, a sink, metal car parts, a carpeted wooden box with incubator like dials attached, 2 wallets complete with driver’s licenses, full size dead cat, Pepsi can from the 1970’s, a Cookie Monster hat, thousands of cans/bottles/Styrofoam and cigarette butts, and of course plenty of tampons and fresh water jellyfish to finish the day. We also installed 40 square feet of erosion control mats to keep soil where it belongs.

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Many questions arose as to where all the fresh water jellyfish came from…a.k.a. condoms.  Local citizens flush them down the toilet, the combined sewer systems then flush them to the river with as little as 1/10th inch of rainfall.  They are not from extracurricular activities on the rivers! Remember, what you flush down your toilets and sinks DO NOT go away, they end up in our rivers.  To clarify questions asked about Combined Sewer Overflows please read the Save Maumee’s Blog post here:

The meth lab, found on the banks of the St. Mary’s by Carrie Morris, the wife of State Senate candidate Jack Morris, and Marlin Rossiter, prompted Bloomingdale Association President to summon the police.  What did it look like? It was a yellow tube, about 1/4th inch in diameter and three feet long, attached to a plastic bottle on one end and a plastic bag to the other end.  All of this neatly wrapped up with a dozen pseudo-ephedrine cartons in a gallon size zip lock baggie.  As Carrie Morris said of the find, “It is important that we, as citizens, take on personal responsibility to look after our city.  Save Maumee was impactful today, and I recommend anyone who is concerned about the quality of life in Fort Wayne to join them in their efforts.”

Interestingly, the police were extremely concerned about the soil and ground on which the meth was being manufactured.  They recommended that HAZMAT employees from the drug task force cleanse the area.  However, after realizing the bag with the manufacturing material was wet, it was then considered remediated, the baggie and contents were returned to the pile of wet trash from the river.



Be very aware that PEOPLE live on your riverbanks in Fort Wayne.  Here should be the following understanding regarding trash and these CITIZENS. Save Maumee past and present policy.  When you find an area where someone is living on the land, please remove anything that looks like it is decimated to the point of discarding.  If a blanket, for example, looks lumped on a shore after being washed in the Maumee River, please remove it.  If it appears that your dog would love to cuddle into a warm, dry blanket please leave it exactly how you found it, this may be considered property…Please move along to find other true trash and pollution.  It is not difficult to find true rubbish on Fort Wayne’s riverbanks.


This topic came up because a volunteer approached Founder of Save Maumee, Abigail King at 5pm and said, “I feel bad because I think I took someone’s home.  I removed a blanket and it was not very dirty.  I want to put it back where I found it. I feel like I made a mistake, what should I do.”  Abigail responded, “Here is the 30 yard trash container.  You can either go through it, find the blanket and return it to the place you found it, or you can pull your warm comforter off your own bed and give it to the riverbanks.  There are many homeless people and they will find another blanket to use or a place to sleep if you decide otherwise.”  None returned to the previous site.


Save Maumee is sending blankets and sheets next week to the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission as a good will gesture to honor the person who lost their possession and suggests all Fort Wayne citizens to do the same. If there is a used blanket in your closet taking up space, consider making a trip to the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission at 301 W. Superior St. to donate your warm bedding. The Mission said they would graciously accept gently used items.  If you are in need because you are missing a blanket, please request one from Fort Wayne Rescue Mission.  Fall weather approaches. 

Sometimes others feel like enough is not being done for our waterways, other times people feel like the issues are so large that individuals cannot make a difference.  Smash the status quo, feel empowered!  The homeless is definitely a discussion topic and would like your feedback as to leading by example. 


Now for a few funny asides:

Les Lesser entertained us and what an entertainer! I had people comment, “I love his passion, he is playing his heart out to only a few people – you can tell he would play the same to a thousand people, or a row of dogs!”  Now that is what a musician truly should be! YOU ROCK.

 Aaron Goulet from Local Level Promotions was the first casualty of the river that day.  The first family to disembark on their canoe journey of the day, fell in the Maumee when Aaron all his children in their life-vests, eagerly anticipating their first clean-up departed and flipped as Dad stepped into the boat! Sorry wet river lovers. They dried off and tried another successful attempt!


Phi Theta Kappa – Honors Society from Purdue University brought 10 people to remove trash! Large effort by another unified group that cares about your rivers!


What was the most interesting pull out of the river? Foster found the following at one site…A Bible, 2 candles, a pair of underwear, 2 condoms, and a roll of film.  hhhmmm…


Thank you for 2 competitors working together for cleaner local rivers, Earth Adventures and Fort Wayne Outfitters / Bike Depot donated  FREE canoes for the day.  Thank you to ACRES Land Trust for the reusable water bottles and the Health Food Shoppe and Old Crown Coffee supplying snacks & coffee!


Save Maumee’s Benefit at Berlin Music Pub brought in $160! Bands included: Twisted Aversion, Rise To Fall, DV8, 11M 12D, Autovator, Blood From A Stone,  with the help of B-Rad Music Productions, Twisted Music Entertainment – THANKS to everyone to make this a fun evening for all.



Saturday October 2nd, 2010 was Save Maumee’s 2nd Annual Fox Island Seed Harvest for the Maumee


Thank you bush wackers!  You know we cannot do this without you!  All of you did such a great job the past 2 years!  The kids love it and the adults find the identification of plants valuable and educational!


2009 Stats for the Seed Harvest – 2010 Stats will be available soon – still drying, sorting and weighing.

There were 28 volunteers present in 2009 that collected approximately 29 pounds of quality seed in the 4 hour allotment!

Volunteers will be sent out to find primarily Big Blue Stem, Indian Grass, Canada Wild Rye and a little Switchgrass and Prairie Dropseed.  The grasses that are taller than your head were the ones we were seeking out and the ones that Save Maumee spends all of your hard earned money upon!  Some of the seeds will be grown in our greenhouse (growing them into plant plugs)…and the rest we will be planting on Save Maumee Earth Day, Sunday April 17, 2011.

Harvested on 9/26/09 and what will be planted on In order of AMOUNT collected


The following in blue is a price list from Heartland Restoration/Earth Source Inc. (2009) and how much plucking it ourselves saves money!

Big Bluestem: $12/LB                            Save Maumee collected approx. 10lbs = $120

Canada Wild Rye: $14/LB                      Save Maumee collected approx. 5lbs = $70

Indian Grass: $8/LB                               Save Maumee collected approx. 2lbs = $16

Tall Iron Weed: $225/LB                         Save Maumee collected approx. 5lbs = $1,125

Wild Bergamot: $352/LB                        Save Maumee collected approx. 2lbs = $704

Gray Headed Coneflower $105/LB          Save Maumee collected approx. 2lbs = $210

Common Milkweed: $7/oz, $108/LB        Save Maumee collected approx. 15 ounces = $105

Switchgrass: $2/oz                                Save Maumee collected approx.   6 ounces = $12

Prairie Dropseed: $18/oz                       Save Maumee collected approx    6 ounces = $108


So how much is all of this worth in dollars saved by plucking it ourselves?

Approximately: $2,470 WORTH OF SEED!!! THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!


NEXT Spring ~April 17, 2011 Sunday ~ 6th Annual Save Maumee Earth Day

  • Plant trees, seed, plant plugs, install erosion control mats and remove garbage on the banks of the Maumee and have fun doing it with live entertainment!
  • We will have horses available this year for $25/person/hour for guided tours on the banks of the Maumee, the price INCLUDES horse poop-pick-up! We don’t want to contaminate your rivers! Cleaning up your dog’s poop on a walk will also improve water quality, so don’t forget your plastic baggie when you grab Rover’s leash! 
  • A grand event in the works with 267 participants for our Earth Day 2010, so save the date to celebrate our Earth in 2011!


Upcoming Meetings:

  • Upper Maumee Watershed Partnership meeting scheduled for October 27th in Defiance, OH Soil and Water Conservation District.  Meeting will include working with Hoosier Environmental Council for support and suggestions to progressively work toward cleaner waterways.


  • “River Summit” to be held in early 2011.  A meeting is set for October 28, 2010 at the Allen County Soil & Water Conservation District 3718 New Vision Drive from 3:00-4:30 to identify how a summit could fulfill different organizations needs and how events and activities will be arranged and what a summit hopes to accomplish. 

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