newgrantNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently awarded us a highly competitive Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant to partially support Clean Your Streams and to expand the prevention side of the program in 2016. Our grant was one of only 64 awards made nationally and the only one in Ohio. This grant program requires “a high degree of partnership between local government agencies, elected officials, community groups, businesses, schools and environmental organizations for improving local water quality and restoring important fish and wildlife habitats,” according to the press release from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Our Clean Your Streams program certainly exemplifies strong partnerships and visible improvement on water quality on our communities in the greater Toledo area.

We will continue to partner with the City of Toledo, City of Oregon, Lucas County, The Olander Park System, the University of Toledo, Metroparks of the Toledo Area and others to plan, organize, and oversee Clean Your Streams Day and to roll out a new prevention program called Trash Amnesty Weeks. Trash Amnesty Weeks will provide roll off bins with free trash disposal, and educational materials in targeted zones around Toledo, enabling residents to intercept trash before reaching the rivers and streams. Through these programs aim to prevent and clean up stream litter, we will involve 850 volunteers in cleaning at least 25 miles of rivers and streams in northwest Ohio, removing at least 15,000 pounds of stream litter in the urban communities in and around Toledo. We will also educate at least a thousand people on the importance of clear, clean and healthy rivers and riparian areas, including proper disposal of litter.

We are excited to receive this grant and thank our partners, our other donors, and of course, our volunteers. Without you, we can’t continue to lead such a successful and impactful community programs. We also look forward to continuing to grow our Clean Your Streams program beyond the one-day cleanup and into a year-round education, outreach, and engagement program aimed at building clear, clean, and safe waters for all of us who live, work, and play in Northwest Ohio. The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will help us on our path towards this goal.