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Environment & Energy

Author Details Maumee River's Troubles and History in New Book

photo of In the Watershed cover

The Maumee River runs more than 100 miles before emptying into Lake Erie in Ohio. And it carries a lot of the farm runoff that triggers algae blooms.

But a new book shows that there’s a lot more to the river. Ryan Schnurr spent a week walking and canoeing the length of the river last summer. He has turned that experience into a book called "In the Watershed."  It’s part memoir and part lesson on the Maumee’s place in history.

“It has existed for so long and been part of so many of the various stories of what’s happened in this region – human and non-human stories,” says Schnurr. “Stories of landscape and stories of pollution and stories of thriving ecology.”

Schnurr wants his book to inform conversations about current issues – for example, by describing the Maumee’s long history of industrial and other pollution.

“What I can do is sort of offer this history, and say, 'Hey, these problems are ecological but they’re also historical,'" he says. “How can we bring that into the conversation to provide solutions that are watershed solutions?

Schnurr will tour the region over the next few months, with stops in Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. 

"In the Watershed -- a Journey Down the Maumee River" is out now.

Great Lakes Today is a collaboration of ideastream Cleveland, WBFO Buffalo, and WXXI Rochester.