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 explains that there’s 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 – from 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 pollution, industrial and otherwise.
“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.