Press Release: October 11, 2016
Contact: Abigail Frost-King, Save Maumee Vice President & Founder 260-417-2500
Federal money to restore streams and ditches: Save Maumee needs riverbank volunteers 4 days in October and beyond 2018
This Saturday, October 15, the public is invited to harvest seed from Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve with Save Maumee Grassroots Organization. It is illegal to remove anything from nature preserves, but Little River Wetlands Project opens their land for harvesting seed that will be planted nearby, at a site where 460 trees will be planted over 3 days. Save Maumee invites the public to help plant the trees and seeds on Friday, October 21, Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23 in New Haven. Koster Ditch is a major tributary to the Maumee River that flows through Six Mile Creek subwatershed. Participants will help to improve and protect water quality that flows directly into an EPA-designated priority Area of Concern.
To date, Save Maumee has been the only group to implement the Upper Maumee River Watershed Management Plan (UM WMP) that was approved in December 2013. The group plans to plant a total of 1,390 trees by April 2017, to complete its first Riparian Buffer Initiative funded by a U.S. Forest Service grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Save Maumee has received an additional federal funding to continue implementation of the UMWMP, with its second Riparian Buffer Initiation slated to begin in 2017.
Save Maumee has been dedicated to protecting the Maumee River and its tributaries because a healthy community starts with a healthy river. The Maumee takes on all the water from both the St. Mary’s and St. Joseph Rivers, and ultimately flows into Lake Erie. It makes sense to preserve and protect the Maumee River at the headwaters.
“Just seeing Save Maumee’s project maps gave me a better understanding of the scope of work that needs to be done,” said Travis Kring of South Bend, a volunteer with the group. “Vivid imagery highlights the scale of the work and it gave me an idea of where to help, how much actually needs to be done, and the effects to everyone downstream.”
“The federal government recognizes that deforestation is happening, and contributing to the decline in water quality. It appears that everyone is in agreement except for the Allen County Commissioners, who are the voting members of the Allen County Drainage Board,” said Abigail King, Vice President and Founder of Save Maumee. “We want to assure the decision makers are aware that the 2,500 miles of ditches they [Drainage Board] maintain are using best management practices, instead of indiscriminate removal of vegetation on ditches, as their only means of maintenance. We are working to make sure that we are not planting trees that will be clear-cut in the next 10 years.”
The UMWMP calls for installation of riparian buffers over the next 30 years in order to improve the health of the Maumee River and tributaries. With its second federal grant, Save Maumee will continue to combat problems within the Upper Maumee’s most degraded subwatersheds. The group plans to establish more riparian acreage, raise public awareness about the need for healthy rivers, and is a great opportunity for civic engagement. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
The purpose of Save Maumee Grassroots Organization is to preserve, protect and improve the ecosystems of the Upper Maumee River and watershed by increasing public awareness through advocacy, collaboration, education and hands-on projects.
Event Details: http://savemaumee.org/all-upcoming-events or
Reforestation Initiative: http://savemaumee.org/save-maumee-riparian-buffer-initiative/
Upcoming events: http://savemaumee.org/all-upcoming-events
Seed Harvest: http://savemaumee.org/annual_seed_harvest/
Member Meeting: http://savemaumee.org/annual-members-meeting/