Fox River paddle celebrates recreation and river clean up history

Aug 15, 2023 | River:30

On Saturday September 9, River Alliance supporters gathered to paddle near De Pere, Wisconsin. It was the fifth paddle in our River:30 series of events to recognize River Alliance’s 30th anniversary.

Kayakers hold up their paddles while in a lock

The paddle event was also held in memory of longtime River Alliance supporter and board member, Richard Schoenbohm. Richard was a passionate paddler and nature lover who served as a member and chair of River Alliance’s board of directors. Richard’s wife, Sue Bennett (below), shared her remembrances of him as an avid  and independent paddler who loved nature and giving back to his community.

Sue Bennett stands in front of a group of paddlers

Our speaker was Susan Campbell, an award-winning environmental journalist, author, and communications specialist who covered the controversial Fox River and Green Bay cleanup from 1995 through 2000 as environmental reporter for the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Her new book, Paper Valley: The Fight for the Fox River Cleanup, is co-authored by David Allen and is the story behind the world’s largest, most divisive, most politically charged environmental river cleanup of its kind: the $1.3 billion fix for widespread chemical PCB contamination in Wisconsin’s Fox River, a key Great Lakes tributary. Her takeaway message was “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” After many years of advocacy by community members and dedicated civil servants in the Department of Natural Resources and the EPA, the cleanup efforts that seemed impossible for the Fox River were accomplished.

Lindsay Wood Davis and his wife Amanda in a canoe

Last, but not least, board member emeritus Lindsay Wood Davis reached his goal of visiting 30 bodies of Wisconsin water for his River:30 challenge on this day. Throughout his many visits to rivers, lakes and estuaries in our state, Lindsay has been highlighting the invaluable water resources that River Alliance of Wisconsin and our many partners around the state work hard to protect.

– Stacy Harbaugh, Communications Director


This message is made possible by generous donors who believe people have the power to protect and restore water.

Help River Alliance of Wisconsin celebrate our 30th anniversary! Support our work with your contribution today or take the River:30 pledge to spend more time with Wisconsin’s rivers this year.