About Us

The Wabash River Defenders (WRD) is a watershed initiative which acts to restore and remove debris from the Wabash River in Wabash County, Indiana.

The Defenders are a group of volunteers with 501(c)3 non-profit status that have come together with one mission.

The Wabash River Defenders envisions a healthy, cleaner Wabash River. We envision a river with a relatively natural flow regime — in other words, human activities do not reduce flows to an unnatural trickle, or cause unnaturally severe and frequent flooding. We envision a scenic river that provides opportunities for fishing, walking, canoeing and other recreational activities. We envision an ecologically healthy, biologically diverse Wabash River. We envision a river lined with natural, forested lands (greenways and riparian buffers), and the conservation of the River’s tributaries, springs, and other resources.

We envision a time when all watershed residents, not just Wabash County, possess a basic understanding and appreciation of the Wabash River and its ecosystem, and as such take pride in the river. And we envision a time when people are engaged in efforts to conserve the river through participation in the Wabash River Defenders’ activities, and in a broader sense watershed activities throughout the Wabash River Corridor.

We envision a time when development in the Wabash River watershed is guided by a science-based land use plan. We envision a time when development, water withdrawals, and other public management decisions affecting the river are guided by a periodically- updated baseline study of the Wabash River watershed.


The WRD was initially organized in 2011 as a group of concerned citizens who wanted to take steps to remove debris from the Wabash River in Wabash County, Indiana.  For three consecutive years WRD organized Wabash River Clean-up events that led to the removal of more than 125,000 pounds of tires, scrap steel, construction materials and other debris from the Wabash River.

The Wabash River Defenders are residents, landowners, recreational users, brothers, sisters and, most importantly, everyone who lives down stream. The Defenders work together to conserve and improve the water quality, natural resources, ecosystems, and scenic beauty of the portion of the Wabash River watershed that flows through Wabash County. 

Wabash River Defenders is a proud member of the River Network.

Mission Statement:

The Wabash River Defenders are volunteers who preserve, protect, and defend the Wabash River. We promote trash removal, ecology, boating, camping, wildlife habitat and history of this great river, the longest free-flowing river east of the Mississippi. The Wabash is one of the most impressive of all natural resources in Indiana and deserves our collective defense.

Strategic Plan:

Thanks to the sponsorship of the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), the Wabash River Defenders Board was able to devise and create a Strategic Plan focused on making and meeting the organization’s goals.

Click the following link to read the complete plan: Wabash River Defenders Strategic Plan