Awards for Participants:
141 Mile Paddling Hard-Core Teams

  • Most likely to be misidentified as Pirates; Pillage then burn…The Pillage THEN Burn Canoe: David & Rowan Greene
  • Most Likely to be found on a riverbank: Cat Matt (Matt Williams) & Kate Holloway
  • MacGyver Man Canoe – Turtle (Josh Eng) & Canaan Eubank (duct taped leaking canoe / reused a juice box “single serving” drinking box
  • Justinian Dispenza & Nathan – The Viking Award that may be Acceptable / Unacceptable
  • Most likely to be caught taking pictures & smiling Team – Erik Mollberg & Abigail King
  • Professional Canoeist Award – Eric & Kara Stallsmith
  • Runner-Up Opportunist Paddlers – Zeen IS Mean & Fuzz
  • Most Enthusiastic Badass – Dakota Fire Face

Canoe Participant Awards

  • Barefoot Beauty Award / Positive Camper / best attitude (always looked for good)….Matt Williams – Cat Matt
  • Most likely to take over the world – Rowan Greene
  • Greatest sense of adventure – Dani Bradtmiller
  • Most Likely to get wet – David Greene
  • Best Picture in the Media – Rowan & David Greene
  • Can do the work of a two-man boat…as one man – Chuck Norris Award – Erik Mollberg
  • Fearless Leader most likely to need a charge / Most persuasive – Abigail King
  • Biggest Complainer/Dirtiest Paddler – “for as miserable as that was, it sure was a lot of fun” “…I would read a book, but my tablet is dead.” – Zeen IS Mean
  • Youngest Badass – Dakota Thomas
  • Most Likely to Be Famous – Justinian Dispenza
  • Dirtiest socks – Canaan
  • Get ‘ER done Award / Most Likely to HELP without asking – Nathan Dewan
  • Most likey to risk sleeping with a warm bear -Fuzz
  • Busy Beaver (always Chipped in) & Honorary Jr. fire starter merit badge – Lydia Lamont
  • Most likely to instigate a cuddle puddle in a mansion tent & build it herself – Kate Holloway
  • Most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse – Cara Stallsmith
  • Coolest Cat – Eric Stallsmith
  • Least likely to be lost on the River – Tim Weybright & John Sargent
  • Schwarzenegger Beefcake Award – Derek Weil
  • Most likely to give the shirt off his back or the toothbrush from his mouth – Travis Yeager
  • Iron Man – John Sargent
  • Best interview by media & Most Enthusiastic- Aaron Herndon
  • Most likely to find Carmen SanDiego – Tim Weybright
  • Best Paddle Board Attitude – Dave Reithmiller – Rock 104/WXKE
  • Most likely to be found kissing on the Maumee River & Best Bed-Matt & Michelle Jones
  • Nature Lover Award – Matt Fletter
  • Most Compassionate Paddler – Terry Doran
  • FASTEST canoe participant – Lauren Eckler
  • Most likely to marry a red-headed rich woman – Bill White
  • River Rapids Experts – Matt Horvat & Paddle Partner
  • Save Maumee’s Ohio Save Maumee Counterpart – John Write from “Northwest Ohio Waterway Clean-Up Initiative”

    Land Crew

  • Masonry of holding river work together since 2006 & Taco Queen – Jain Young
  • The Closer – the Finisher – Save Maumee Taxi – Lydia Lamont
  • Johnny on the Spot – Fredrick Laurent
  • Smoothest strokes – Ryan Bailey
  • Rear of the Year – Megan Feldham
  • Most likely to win a Nobel Prize – Greg Morrical
  • Rainbow Radical River Rat – the “Quad R Threat Award” – John Pretender

Hard Core Baby – Grace

  • Most prepared artist in the woods – Jerrod Tobias
  • Most likely to get ID’d when they’re 40 – Kara Tobias
  • Full Circle Award – Bill White
  • Biggest heart – Terry Doran
  • Most likely to remind you of the song from Deliverance- Chainsaw Bob
  • Most Likely to break a world record – Joey Jernegan “Dirty Joe” on Main Street
  • Best Hair and most likely to pull someone else’s hair – Lorie from Hairspray on Main St.
  • Most Likely To Become A Model – Tim Zink
  • Best Hat – Fuzz
  • Mover of mountains Award/Most likely to win the lottery but lose the ticket -Zack Doctor
  • Best Dressed Male – Brandon Barker
  • Best Dancer / Most Positive – Rusty Hardesty
  • Person least likely to be taken seriously – Ger Ger (Greg Wolfe)
  • Most likely to be clean in the woods – Pluto
  • The Always Room For One More Award – Amanda Kaminskas
  • The Fashion Plate Award – Julie Hadaway
  • Hosts with the Most – Becky & Kenny Barker
  • Most colorful helper – Connie Shaw
  • Most likely to hide your keys – Kristin Peck
  • Most likely to keep geolocation on track – Melanie McKinley
  • Most food selections provided on a riverbank – Pat Frost

Behind the scenes BEST weather watcher – Karen Ewing
Behind the scenes BEST web help – Don Croy
Behind the scenes & ready to drive – Larry Conlin


  • Worst Accident – Kara Tobias’ driving caused a penis burn
  • First Blood Drawn by Junk Ditch – Canaan Eubank
  • First one to meet the water in Junk Ditch – Michelle Jones
  • First one to dive out of boat to rescue television trash from Junk Ditch – Kate & Aaron
  • First one told to STOP picking up trash & paddle – John Sargent
  • Most River Fishing Loures found – Nathan Dewan/Justinian Dispenza & John Sargent
  • The Oldest Barber in Ohio (and applied for oldest in the U.S.) greeted us on Earth Day when we arrived in Defiance Ohio!
  • Lou Hebert’ dropped off footage to Toledo Media for their news piece
  • People from the shore would yell at us: “You can stay right here!” “We have been watching you on the news” “Thank you for making the trip – great coverage.”
  • Unexpected visit by President of Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor, Ed Heffel
  • Johnny Appleseed stopped by Mary Jane Thurston to see us!

• Furthest identified traveler (other than the Water Crew) on the Maumee – SCAN rubber duckie from the “SCAN Duck Race” in Fort Wayne found approx. 115 miles from its launching point!

Newscaster wore shorts and complained how cold he was

  • Canaan Eubank waste deep in Junk Ditch quicksand
  • Abby waste deep in Blue Cast Springs quicksand
  • David sacrificing himself for dry stuff & jumped out of boat (2X)
  • Justinian & Nathan using string across Junk Ditch to pull their boat

Biggest Victim of “River Time”

Barbara Sha Cox from Indiana CAFO Watch & Angie Quinn from Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor were at Mary Jane Thurston State Park.  That day our canoe trip between Grand Rapids & Perrysburg, Ohio took approximately 8 hours…we only expected a 4 hour tour! OH MY GOSH WE ARE SO SORRY we missed you! xoxoxo WHOOPS

Both of these amazing women and their information, will be shared and highlighted in an upcoming post…as soon as we properly apologize.

What else did we see?

Most days we saw Bald Eagles & Wood Ducks & Falcons
All days we saw Blue Heron/Egret/Mallard Ducks/ INVASIVE Canada Geese
Several Bald Eagle Nests
Blue Herron Nesting Grounds (X2)
Frogs and Toads

We did not see jumping fish until we passed Defiance Dam – BTW – INDEPENDENCE DAM & HOSEY DAM NEED FISH LADDERS

Car parts & cars in and around the Maumee
Water Heaters
many rusty steel drums & 55 gallon barrels
construction waste
fisherman waste
single serving plastic
plastic frog was rescued
fishing lures by the hundred
Rubber duckie from Fort Wayne Indiana – SCAN Duck Race
Best Compliment: Land Crew advertising in Grand Rapids went to River Lures Canoe Store / Outfitter

Biggest Problem: Gaging “River Time” – “Exactly what time will you be there? ~ UH…RIVER TIME! Many things to consider here; headwind, stream conditions, water height & velocity, time of departure, Water Crew needs.

Abigail’s Best: Having the media wait in line to talk to me! Several days, they were several deep!

View map / Get Direction
  •  Began at the continental divide between The Mississippi Watershed and The Great Lakes Watershed.
  • 20 people made the trip down the entire length of  the Maumee River all the way to Western Lake Erie in Toledo, Ohio!
  • Many others joined us for a day or two.
  • April 18th through April 26th, 2014
  • 2 States ~ 141 Maumee River miles
  • Free for members
  • Our group traveled approximately 15.5 miles per day & while anticipating approx. 8 hours of paddling PER DAY.
  • The public joined us at 7 riverbank locations…

See Public Programing at Landing Locations



1. Assist the Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan with GIS MAPPING with intent to assist implementation of the WMP, which will be available to the public in April 2014.

  • Assist in solidifying specific GPS locations of straight-pipe drainage areas that are unmapped on any State or County system (i.e. tile, straight pipe, bank erosion identification, potential areas for a ‘boat launching’,  large debris mapping).

2.  Provide destination points to the public for outreach and education along our waterways – staging an area for experts and groups to highlight challenges, conditions and BMP’s of the Maumee River and corresponding watershed.  It will provide engagement for discussions on many topics.

  • THIS has been identified as a need for many groups.

3. Highlight U.S. Army Corps of Engineers current practice of indiscriminate vegetation removal on levees.

  • “Guidelines for landscape planting and vegetation management at levees, floodwalls, embankment dams and appurtenant structures”

4. Document current conditions of the Maumee River.  We will be joined by a documentarian crew and have promotion of the trip by NewsCenter 33 broadcast.

  • Upon editing with many cameras, we will create content for our local Public Access Television broadcast in Fort Wayne.  A full length documentary is being produced by Terry Doran’s, “A Theater for Ideas”.

 Secondary Objectives

  1. This is not a race; part of the fun is not knowing exactly the time the canoe crew will arrive at their sites!
  2. It is the responsibility of our government to ensure the safety and quality of our water, we want to help them protect our surface water for ALL. Citizens want the river usable for recreation: why is it not federal government’s responsibility, but local government’s responsibility to make them at least swimmable?
  3. Understanding that WATER is LIFE – our most precious natural resource
  4. Streams & tributaries are ALIVE ~ need to view them something other than a ditch
  5. Learn about the health of our rivers by USING THEM and seeing our cities from a different perspective
  6. Water scarcity is an issue facing us on this continent and the Maumee is the largest freshwater source in the world.
  7. See our cities and their history from a perspective you can only get from our rivers.
  8. Raise community awareness about the condition of the Maumee River, where 11 million people get their drinking water, yet this vital stream remains on the EPA’s 303 (d) list of Impaired Waterways
  9. Run, Paddle, Ride the Maumee’s Watershed!
  10. Bring back a sense of community, and show by example how-to-do-it!
  11. Reflect upon how much we as individuals can be part of something bigger than ourselves and we depend on water as all communities to make common goals successful.
  12. Exemplify how to use impaired waterways safely in 2014, from an outfitter / survivalist perspective, with lessons from a range of experts
  13. Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan is due to come out in 2014 – this will improve communications with protection and stewardship and indication of goals on how to protect it.
  14. Education and learning for ALL – created by us ALL
  15. Measuring our cities progress should not be done by counting its roadways and other impervious surfaces.
  16. Help to restore the natural hydrology & natural beauty
  17. We will pose, as a community, any questions that cannot be answered through this trip
  18. Need to think about sanitation – water, shelter and food as a society that will continue to feel the effects of weather systems’ change.
  19. Many resources are being spent on river management by Federal, State & Municipality & Local, yet the river is still impaired for designated use.
  20. ALTERNATIVES to make the rivers healthy like healthy flood control, sturgeon plan or wildlife (predators keep prey healthy)


What is the Canoe Trip about?

This will be a nine day canoe trip of research and education about our invaluable rivers and streams.  Our experiment will be investigating the many problems facing surface water, suggested improvements that can improve water quality and invite all groups who work toward water quality improvements to share their expertise.  Simultaneously padding down the Maumee and upstream against entrenched powers and behaviors.

Giving the public a destination for recreational opportunities along the Maumee River, and providing education has been identified as a need among many nonprofits and agencies!   Lack of water education and outreach to the public has been identified as a challenge for water quality – Save Maumee hopes to help shed light on issues and solutions!

Environmental degradation is not inevitable, even in Indiana and Ohio, with everyone working together.

 Issues we would like to address during the trip:

  • i.e. What is the Maumee Watershed and how is our water being affected….CLICK HERE:


April 18 through April 26 2014

Fort Wayne to Lake Erie on the Fort to Port original transportation system, the Maumee River.  The trip will be from Friday April 18 through Sunday April 27th, and bring people to their local riverbanks!

The public is invited to Earth Week celebrations along on  Maumee’s riverbanks in Indiana and Ohio.  Activities and programs will occur at 9 locations throughout Save Maumee’s Canoe Trip.  Their trip will start at the Mississippi and Great Lakes continental divide in Indiana and end 9 days later at the outlet into Maumee Bay’s Lake Erie, in Toledo Ohio at International Park.

Activities will include GIS mapping of tiles that are not mapped on any State or County systems, water testing, garbage removal, plantings, bird and plant identification, understanding your water footprint, and lead discussions in benefits of raingardens, native vegetation, CAFO’s and animal contribution to water quality, Clean Water Act and water policy issues.  These are issues the public have always wanted to know more about.

Starting April 18, Save Maumee will start paddling from the area where Asian Carp and other invasive species have the ability to move from the Mississippi watershed to the Great Lakes.  The canoe trip will end 9 days later at Maumee Bay in the Western Lake Erie Basin.  The group will meet up on the shore of the Maumee to participate in activities in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Defiance, OH on Earth DAY, Mary Jane Thurston State Park, and International Park in Toledo, Ohio among other locations.

This will be a nine day canoe trop of research and education about our invaluable rivers and streams.  The groups are looking to investigate the many problems facing surface water, what could make it better, bring together all these groups, and work together to make things better for our waters.  Simultaneously padding down the Maumee and upstream against entrenched powers and behaviors.  Environmental degradation is not inevitable, even in Indiana and Ohio, with all groups working together.

Save Maumee Grassroots Organization, Partnership for Water Quality, Sustainable Indiana 2016, Upper Maumee Watershed Partnership, City of Defiance, Tri-State Watershed Alliance, Citizens Action Coalition & Toledo Planning Commission will provide riverside activities along the Maumee River throughout the 9 day trip.  They will start at the Mississippi and Great Lakes watershed divide, and end up in Maumee Bay, Lake Erie in Toledo, OH.  SEE THE MAP 

Along the way, Save Maumee will be using GPS equipment to locate tiles and drains, identify potential restoration areas and historic garbage and put them on a map…in real time.  The group will also help to identify potential areas for boat ramps. All of which do not appear on current maps.

The Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan is due to be released to the public in April 2014.  Save Maumee would like to highlight the plans and how YOU can help improve our waters all the way to Lake Erie.

Among other goals, the canoe trip will highlight Earth Week and work to change the 2009 Army Corps of Engineers ruling of native vegetation removal along rivers and streams.  We will report our findings and work to change public policy of ACE. The Corps currently follow “Guidelines for landscape planting and vegetation management at levees, floodwalls, embankment dams and appurtenant structures” (ETL 1110-2-571). Numerous government agencies and studies cite the importance of vegetation.  The Army Corps of Engineers appear to be the only agency who does not recognize or make use of these studies.  ACE requires municipalities to follow their guidelines, but Fort Wayne alone has 10.5 miles of levees next to our rivers.

Save Maumee Grassroots Organization’s Director and Founder Abigail King explains, “We want to make sure the public is aware of the damage of natural areas due to the requirement of removing all vegetation 15 feet on either side of all levees, for inspection purposes alone.  The Maumee is the largest contributing watershed to the Great Lakes and remains on the EPA’s 303 (d) list of impaired streams.  This is an ecologically sensitive area and should not have native plants indiscriminately removed. Numerous government agencies and studies cite vegetation buffer areas as beneficial and necessary.”


Bottom line – “The Great Lakes currently generate over 1.5 million jobs and $60 billion in wages annually and provide the foundation for a $30 billion tourism economy.  Projections for implementing Great Lakes restoration strategy will generate over $50 billion in long-term economic benefits.”  (Great Lakes Commission, HOW, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Council of Great Lakes Industries Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, September 5, 2013)


Riverbank Programing each evening ~ your destinations for Save Maumee’s 9 Day EARTH WEEK!
Riverbank Programing each evening ~ your destinations for Save Maumee’s 7 Day EARTH WEEK!

LET rivers meander….come meander with us, or join us on shore at 7 separate land locations in the afternoons for Public Programing!