July 2015

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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GLOgroupDo you want to help out your local community in a fun and exciting way? Join PCS on July 14th from 6-8pm and July 28th from 5-8pm for “Get the Lead Out!” It’s a cleanup program that allows volunteers to have a clear and direct impact on improving wildlife habitat in and around the river by removing fishing line, lead lures, and trash from the mighty Maumee River. Get the Lead Out is ideal for volunteers ages 8 and up and has been going on for over 10 years. Can’t come to the scheduled events but want to do your part? Once the river levels go down, do your own cleanup on your own time. Get the Lead Out runs throughout the summer so there is plenty of time for you to schedule your own outing. Just register on our website using this form. You will receive your Get the Lead Out kit, which will provide you with all the supplies you needed to collect lead and line. With your help, PCS can continue to recycle or reuse all lead and line collected. So get ready for an awesome adventure, get your group together, and help us Get the Lead Out!

HullInternationalparkAre you tired of waiting for Clean Your Streams Day? Now you can do your own cleanup whenever you want with our new program: Clean Your Streams 365! With funding from the Toledo Community Foundation and a Litter Grant from the Ohio EPA, we are specifically targeting river sites that need more frequent cleaning than our large, one-day regional Clean Your Streams Day. With your help, there is less trash making its way into Lake Erie, the source of our drinking water.

With Clean Your Streams 365, volunteers receive all the cleanup materials they need including gloves, trash bags, nets, maps and an optional data collection form (to track the amount and types of trash). After registering, time and location for the cleanup will be determined based on the groups needs while taking in consideration and being flexible of water levels and weather. This program is great for volunteer groups of all sizes and ages making it great for corporations wanting to show community pride, youth clubs looking for community service or volunteer organizations taking ownership of their rivers. Sites are available in many communicates around Toledo focusing in Swan Creek, Ottawa River, Maumee River and Maumee Bay tributaries. More information and forms for Clean Your Streams 365 can be found here.

ToledoskylineOn August 2nd from 2-4pm, join us, and many other water quality professionals, aboard the Sandpiper for an educational cruise on the Maumee River. On the one year anniversary weekend of the “water crisis,” we will be renting the Sandpiper and providing the tour for only $5 so you can experience the Maumee River firsthand, from the river. PCS will also invite a variety of water quality professionals, from different perspectives and different backgrounds so you can ask questions of the professionals about the water quality challenges and the solutions for this region.

Tours on the Sandpiper are usually at least $15 and we can only take 50 people. Watch our website for more details coming soon on how to reserve your spot but mark your calendars now.

AliFlowersMy name is Ali Luedtke and I joined the Partners for Clean Streams team this summer as an intern. I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to get some real world experience working in the environment and organizing events.

In past years through the ZooTeen Program, I was able to attend quite a few Partners for Clean Streams events such as Get the Lead Out, Clean Your Streams, and the Youth Patch Day Workshop. Even though I have always had a love for the environment and animals, these experiences really opened my eyes to what was happening in the world. After attending all of these events, I did some research of my own and discovered that lots of places all over the world are having water quality issues like Japan, Africa, and Europe. Up until then I had really only thought about ocean pollution as being an issue, but this brought things to a whole new level.

During the Get the Lead Out events I picked up not only fishing line, but tons of garbage. After realizing the global and local issue, I began to sign up for as many Get the Lead Out events as I could and attended Clean Your Streams in 2013. During the Clean Your Streams event in 2013, a new sense of belonging came over me and I realized that I wanted to dedicate my life to saving these waterways from human destruction. I want to not only go out on my own and do cleanup projects, but educate people about the challenges our local and world waterways are facing.

I’m really excited to see what this summer has in store for me while I’m helping to lead projects, organize events, and educate the public. I found my true calling while attending Partners for Clean Streams events and taking a variety of science classes during high school. This fall I will embark on a new adventure while attending Bowling Green State University for Environmental Policy and Analysis. Until then I will be doing various tasks for PCS such as event planning, augmenting and building their social media platforms, helping lead projects, educating people, and most of all saving our local waterways. For more information about what I will be doing, you can follow Partners for Clean Streams on Twitter and Facebook. Hopefully I’ll see you around this summer rocking out some Get the Lead Out events!

By Kris Patterson

The Mighty Maumee. A nickname well earned over the last year or so. The last year has been one for the record books – especially when it relates to water in many forms and in many ways. Since January of 2014, the Toledo region has had record snowfalls and bizarre ice events around the river. We’ve had record rainfalls and flood events. We’ve had to scramble for potable drinking water while making national headlines. All of this has demonstrated, in very visible, very tangible and often times, in very personal ways, how interconnected we are with nature. For better and for worse. It’s often something we forget or don’t think about as we live day to day. And then, the Mighty Maumee reminding us, again, that nature and people are interwoven, forever linked and connected.

Rivers are always changing, always moving. Rivers react to what happens on the land that surrounds them. So when we have too much rain, the rivers swell and flood. Pollution, excess nutrients or loose dirt can end up in the river and are carried out to the Lake, which can affect the long –term health of the region, its wildlife and eventually, us. It’s a natural process but can negatively affect people when there is damage to homes, businesses, crops, and certainly to drinking water.

Partners for Clean Streams has a seat on many planning committees that are trying to find long term, concrete solutions to a myriad of our region’s complex water quality issues. PCS works closely with various organizations to provide up to date information about water quality issues. We are part of the solution when we educate the public about what we, as individuals and community members, can do to care for our water. For example, when a huge rainstorm does swell our rivers, as it always has and always will, we can work towards having adequate treatments systems beforehand. We can minimize the debris and garbage that may get swept away. We can leave natural spaces for the river to swell into and through, such as wetlands and undeveloped parks and green spaces. Together we can think about and act out the solutions to keep our water healthy now and into the future.

But perhaps most importantly, Partners for Clean Streams provides you, individually and as a community, with a way to become an active steward. We give you the tools, the knowledge, and the “roll your sleeves up, get your feet wet” way to take control, to be part of the solutions for clear, clean, and safe water, right now. You don’t have to wait for the long-term, big picture solutions that may take community leaders, lawmakers, legislatures, and state and federal agencies years to fully roll out. While those long-term solutions are important, so are the everyday individual actions we take.

Come join us at a stream cleanup. Stencil storm drains with a message of “Drains are for Rain, Flows to Waterway” to keep grass clippings, motor oil, pet waste, pop bottles and other trash out of the rivers and storm drains. Help remove fishing line, hooks, and lead sinkers from the Mighty Maumee or Adopt a Fishing Line Recycling Bin to collect recyclable fishing line and keep it out of the river. Pick up our Give Water a Hand tip cards and learn about how you can reduce your phosphorus use at home or your business. Most of all, do what you can to make a difference, even if it is one drop at a time.

Currents: July 2015

Your donation, no matter how small, can make a huge difference in the long run. Every penny goes a long way in protecting your water.


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Get the Lead Out River Clean Up


Fishing Line Recycling "Adopt-a-Bin"




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