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2008 Barb Breckler Memorial Maumee River Sweep

The 25th Maumee River Shoreline Sweep was given a new name this year: The Barb Breckler Memorial Maumee River Shoreline Sweep, in honor of Barb Breckler. Jamie Blank, Member of the Fort Defiance Boat and Ski Club, recommended the name change. Barb Breckler was the Administrative Assistant for the Defiance County Environmental Services for many years. She helped organize and attended the river sweep yearly. Barb passed away earlier in the year and Jaime wanted to rename the event in remembrance of her.

The Barb Breckler Memorial Maumee River Shoreline Sweep was held Saturday, June 14, 2008. Tim Houck, event coordinator and Director of Defiance County Environmental Services, reports that co-sponsors of the event were City Beverage, NR&G Recycling, Defiance County Environmental Services, and the Fort Defiance Boat & Ski Club. The Correction Center of Northwest Ohio and Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Independence Dam State Park workers also assisted with this event. Kissner’s and McDonald’s restaurants donated food and drink. Also, Cathy Meyer and Anna Breckler, daughters of Barb Breckler, participated in the event.

It was another beautiful day and over fifty volunteers gathered at Independence Dam State Park Marina at 8:30 a.m. Groups were assigned to do a shoreline pick up from the shore, from boats patrolling close to shore & along US 424. Groups concentrated on the marina area, the shoreline of the Maumee from the dam to the railroad bridge west of the North Clinton Street Bridge.

The River is an important part of our community and this event gets bigger every year. This is not just a one day event. Throughout the year recreational boaters and visitors to the parks pick up litter. This is an excellent opportunity to help educate the public on the importance of the precious resource that our rivers represent. Participants see first-hand the impact that inappropriate environmental behavior has on the waterways of our area and the natural beauty we are blessed with. Many communities rely on the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers as their drinking water source, and the rivers are home to many birds, fish and wildlife that could be adversely affected by litter and debris.

An appreciation lunch for volunteers that assisted with this year's riverbank clean-up project took place after the collection effort at the Independence Marina.This event is part of the Solid Waste District's Management Plan, and is as much an education and awareness project as it is a clean up effort.

This year's event collected over 2 ton of debris.