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2012 Barb Breckler Memorial Maumee River Sweep

The ‘The Barb Breckler Annual Maumee River Shoreline Sweep’ was held Saturday June 16, 2012.  This is the 29th year for this event.  Tim Houck, event coordinator and Director of Defiance County Environmental Services, reports that co-sponsors of the event were McDonald’s-North Restaurant, Kissner’s, Defiance County Environmental Services, Coast Guard Power Squadron and the Fort Defiance Boat & Ski Club. The Correction Center of Northwest Ohio’ public work’s program and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Independence Dam State Park provided workers to assist in the litter collection.  Kissner’s and McDonald’s restaurants donated food and drink.

A beautiful day was enjoyed by all for this yearly event. Over 25 people gathered at Independence Dam State Park Marina at 7:30 a.m. Groups were assigned to do a shoreline pick up from the shore, from boats patrolling close to shore & by walking along County Road 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.  This is the area of the Maumee in Defiance County which is designated "recreational".

The River is an important part of our community and this event is an important element in both environmental education and litter collection.  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.

This event is part of the Solid Waste District's Management Plan. This year's event collected over 2.5 tons of debris which was properly disposed into the Defiance county landfill.