January 19, 2014 by Jessica Sedge – Contagious Communities



“It can’t be political” was the exact comment that I made to my friend Abby King when we discussed the nuances of doing a blog piece regarding her nonprofit organization. Her response was this: “Water is life. It does not recognize politics, democrats and republicans.”

And so the blog lives.  Save Maumee is a grassroots, 100% volunteer organization that originated in Fort Wayne, Indiana around the year 2001. King had just purchased a home near the Maumee River and quickly discovered that our rivers were contaminated. “When I asked people what they were contaminated with, no one even knew” says King. So she did exactly what we advocate at Contagious Community and became an agent for positive change. Save Maumee continues to thrive and promote activism, awareness, and (albeit quasi-political) to lobby for legal intervention into the safety and sustainability of our water sources.

The organization has become active in Congress (our own Fort Wayne people are affecting the Federal level of government).  They recently educated members of Congress on the downside to widespread vegetation removal around rivers, which was occurring in Fort Wayne. According to King, the organization has made significant progress in achieving bipartisan support in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives in their effort to challenge this devastating but legal practice. I won’t go into detail, but if you’d like to learn more about The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 you can reference two articles published by the Journal Gazette in October, 2013:
(Author: Brian Francisco, accessed 19 January 2014)
(Author: Brian Francisco, accessed 19 January 2014)

Now here comes the FUN PART! Save Maumee is hosting a canoe/camping trip during Earth Week this year. The trek begins April 18th and runs through the 26th. Per the event flier, the goal of the canoe trip is “to educate and raise awareness regarding water pollution and improvements”. Participants are invited to join for as few or as many days as their schedule and camping-tolerance-level allow. Think of it like a pub crawl through nature, but instead of locating the perfect draft beer the pursuit is on for clean water.

Anyone can participate. Visit https://savemaumee.org to find out more.
My eight-days-a-week mom schedule won’t allow me to ride along this year, but I plan to be at the sendoff on April 18th. Maybe I’ll even spring for some trail mix for the canoers (vegan on this particular day by request of the organization). It’s the least I can do in exchange for clean water.