On Saturday, August 5th, over 60 individuals in the community gathered aboard the Sandpiper Boat in downtown Toledo to listen to discussion about issues affecting water quality in the Maumee watershed and the Area of Concern (AOC). Experts in water resources led discussion about various topics. Kris Patterson from Partners for Clean Streams, Jamie Kochensparger from Lucas County Soil and Water Conservation District, Cheryl Rice with USDA – Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Paul Bockstahler, an engineer with the City of Toledo – Toledo Waterways Program, were all featured speakers. Each speaker brought their unique perspective on what impact people, programs, and policies are having on water quality. This event coincided with the third anniversary of the Lake Erie drinking water crisis, precipitated by toxic algae blooms near the Toledo water intake in 2014.
This successful event was funded by the Maumee AOC Advisory Committee using Supplemental Environmental Project funding from past penalties and violations issued against companies. Partners for Clean Streams co-hosted the event with the Lucas County Soil & Water Conservation District. The Maumee AOC was designated in 1987 and continues working to make progress in and around the Maumee AOC. Participants were grateful for the opportunity to learn about the river and what is being done to protect the waterways. As the Sandpiper toured the Mighty Maumee, several scenic sites including Collins Park Water Treatment Plant, the High Level Bridge, the Port Authority area, and Toledo Terminal Railroad Bridge were highlights of the tour.