In The Watershed: A Journey Down The Maumee River

By Ryan Schnurr


“Ryan Schnurr has created a subtle monument to a place that we overlook, yet glows with sacredness under his measured gaze. Delightful.” Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway and Into the Beautiful North

Every watershed needs observers who monitor its health. The Maumee Valley now has a keen-eyed caretaker in Ryan Schnurr, who has written an engaging narrative about a journey downriver,  braiding together his personal observations with history, science, and folklore.” Scott Russell Sanders, author of Earth Works: Selected Essays and A Conservationist Manifesto


In 2016, Ryan Schnurr walked and canoed the length of the Maumee River, from the headwaters in Fort Wayne, Indiana to the mouth in Toledo, Ohio, when it flows into the environmentally troubled Lake Erie. In The Watershed is the story of that voyage. As he walks the banks, Schnurr tells us the history of the river, from its formation by glaciers, function in Native American and American history, uses by industry, and role in current economic and environmental issues. Part cultural history, part nature writing, and part narrative, In the Watershed is a lyrical work of non-fiction in the vein of John McPhee and Ian Frazier with a timely and important warning at the core. "What is happening in Lake Erie," Schnurr tells us, "is a disaster by nearly any measure―ecologically, economically, socially, culturally."

More Praise for In the Watershed:

"Poignant but animated by a stubborn hope" John Wilson, Christianity Today

“Ryan Schnurr is a keeper of the spirit of John McPhee, Edward Abbey, and Annie Dillard — he writes about nature intimately and with a sense of wonder, but he’s forever alert to the ways our environment is wounded and reshaped by our greed and neglect. The Maumee is a rich, complex, and fragile place, and Schnurr is a superb guide through it.” Mark Athitakis, author of The New Midwest: A Guide to Contemporary Fiction of the Great Lakes, Great Plains, and Rust Belt

Ryan Schnurr is editor-in-chief of Belt Magazine 

OCTOBER 15, 2017 | ISBN: 978-0998904108 | HISTORY | PAPERBACK | 5 x 7 | 152 PAGES

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