Did you know that the Great Lakes are the biggest freshwater source in the world? Lake Erie is the most productive for fishing of all the Great Lakes. Your support helps make our streams clean, clear and healthy so they can support this complex ecosystem. By donating to PCS, you help us reach our goals of restoring rivers that lead to Lake Erie beaches that promote fishable and swimmable conditions for generations.

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FishiglinebinsAnglers have their waders on, poles in hand, and hooks on their line. And we are putting up our Fishing Line Recycling Bins to recycle the used monofilament line. But we need help! We need volunteers to help monitor and track the line in Fishing Line Recycling Bins that are around the area. Some of the locations are Maumee Bait and Tackle, W.W. Knight Preserve, ZAP Lures and Three Meadows Pond, among many others. Once collected, the line is shipped to the Berkley Conservation Institute and repurposed into fishing products and fish habitat structures. This is perfect for getting volunteer hours and fostering long term care of the rivers for youth groups or corporations. You can also personally support the program by sponsoring a bin, in which case your name or company’s logo is placed on the educational signage. You can learn more and register to Adopt or Sponsor a bin at http://partnersforcleanstreams.org/events/reel-in-and-recycle. Let the fishing begin!

P4PPCS staff loves celebrating clean water all the time but especially for the Earth Day season. We will be celebrating at the Toledo Zoo on April 18th with Party for the Planet making Personal Fishing Line Recycling Bins. Dozens of volunteers are already signed up to do Storm Drain Marking around the City on April 18th, diverting potential pollution from storm drains with the message “Drains are for Rain, Flows to Waterway.”  Volunteers will do multiple river cleanups in the weeks surronding Earth Day. We will be hosting a table with ProMedica at the Toledo Hospital on April 22nd and possibly at Eco Fairs at several universities. Feel free to come visit us, tell us what clean water means to you, and bring us snacks! We would love to tell you about our upcoming volunteer programs for the summer. If you can’t join us, you can still celebrate Earth Day with us by donating to our programs and being a part of keeping our waters clear, clean, and safe!

MarilynCongratulations goes to Marilyn DuFour for being the Conservation Educator of the year from Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District. She is a Senior Environmental Specialist in the City of Toledo Department of Public Utilities and currently serves in the Industrial Pretreatment Section of the Division of Environmental Services. She has worked for the City for almost 21 years, including 11 years as an Assistant Naturalist in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry. Marilyn’s passion for education and water resources developed early and has been fed by a broad range of environmental education experiences: Girl Scouting, the Ohio Youth Conservation Corps, a B.S. in Environmental Biology from Heidelberg University (home of the National Center for Water Quality Research), the U.S. Peace Corps Marine Fisheries Extension Program in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and seasonal positions with the Cleveland Metroparks and six different outdoor centers in New England.

In 2009, she received the Clean Streams Partner Award. Marilyn joined the Maumee Remedial Action Plan (RAP) in 1998 as a member of the Ottawa River Action Group. In 2000, she initiated the Ottawa Park Kickoff and a Youth Battle of the Bags Challenge for our annual river bank clean up, Clean Your Streams, primarily as an outreach to local youth groups. She continues as a Planning Team Member as Kickoff Coordinator of the Ottawa Park Kickoff and Challenge Coordinator for Clean Your Streams, which has grown to involve more than 1,000 volunteers in 18 years. Marilyn is also a founding member of the Rain Garden Initiative of Toledo-Lucas County (RGI) and continues to serve on its Public Outreach and Education Committee. She is among the RGI partners working on its current outreach project, developing a day camp curriculum, the Junior Watershed Academy, funded by a GM Powertrain Plant City Grant.

We are delighted to hear that she was awarded the Conservation Award for her countless hours of dedicated work, both on the job and as a volunteer. Her tireless passion and rive to make our city and environment better is inspiration to all who work with her. Thank you, Marilyn.

By Ava Slotnick

After our harsh winter, spring came, ice melted and rivers flooded. As the river rose, ice and fast moving water rushed into the floodplains of the Maumee River. It moved signs, crushed picnic benches, knocked over trees, swept away roads and left places like Side Cut Metropark and Buttonwood Park asking for help form volunteers to cleanup the extreme damage. While we are lucky events like this do not happen often, it is important to recognize this is how nature works and it is part of the cycle. While there was plenty of damage, this cycle can be a good thing. Let me explain.

The Maumee River flooded when an ice jam prevented much of the quickly melting ice to move out to the Lake Erie in mid-March. The extra water then rushed over the banks and into the flood plain that was created over hundreds of years with the changing and frequently flooding river. Much of the flooding took place in low laying parks, not residential areas, sparing many homes and roads very costly repairs, for the most part. Yes, the parks received their share of damage, no doubt there. While it may seem like the wildlife will take years to recover from the damage, it might be a good thing in the end.

According to the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis, a theory widely used in habitat studies, wildlife will come back in full after destruction like this. The Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis is highly complex and can be applied to understanding many types of habitat destruction from hurricanes to earthquakes to volcanos and fires. While complicated, it is easy to understand. Simply stated - An ecosystem needs a certain amount of destruction to keep biodiversity high. An ecosystem that gets destroyed too much will be too hard to live in (like Hawaii lava fields) while a place that is stagnate and never changes (like Death Valley, California) tends to get dominated by one or two kids of species. An ecosystem that gets messed up “just enough” with varying levels of destruction (i.e. Amazon Rainforest or wildfires in prairies) allows for a fresh “restart” and sets an even playing field for species. New ground opens up, sunlight goes where it hasn’t before and wildlife takes advantage of the new terrain. Yes, some trees will die but it will make room for new kinds of trees to take root. This process can take 1-20 years (or more) but it is part of a larger cycle.

In light of the recent flooding that has taken place along the banks of the Maumee, the scars will remain for multiple years. We will clean up and repair the immediate damage and as spring approaches, we will see wildflowers, new tree saplings and birds emerging but it could take a season or two or more to see the rejuvenating effects of new growth from the destruction. In 10 years, it is likely that new trees will shape the landscape and possibly more types wild flowers will be seen along the banks. It is all part of nature’s cycle. We just get to stand back, out of the way, enjoy the view and remain in awe of the great power of the Mighty Maumee.

Currents: April

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Patrick Lawrence, Ph.D.
President of Board
Associate Professor, Chair of Department of Geography
University of Toledo

Tim Schetter, Ph.D.
Vice President / Secretary
Director of Natural Resources, Metroparks of the Toledo Area

Colleen Dooley
Attorney, Private Practice

Philip Blosser
Board Member
Market Development Manager
Perstorp Polyols

Andrew Curran
Board Member
Assistant Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America

Denise Fonner
Board Member
Private Citizen

Shawn Reinhart
Board Member
Environmental Manager, Johns Manville

Terry Shankland
Board Member
CEO, Shankland's Catering

Kyle Spicer
Board Member
Private Citizen

Partners for Clean Streams Inc. is striving for abundant open space and a high quality natural environment; adequate floodwater storage capacities and flourishing wildlife; stakeholders who take local ownership in their resources; and rivers, streams and lakes that are clean, clear and safe