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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OregonSDMrStorm Drain Marking for Global Youth Service Day is approaching and registration is now open! On Saturday, April 18th, join the dozens of volunteers that will be marking storm drains with a clear message to citizens that “Drains are for Rain, Flows to Waterway” and passing out informational door hangers. Join us from 9:00am-12:00pm marking the storm drains in preselected jurisdictions all around the greater Toledo area to protect our streams from pollution. An Appreciation Picnic will be held at 12:30pm at the Mudhens Stadium as part of Global Youth Service Day for all volunteers. If weather does not permit us to mark the drains on April 18th, a rainout date is scheduled for April 25th. Please check out the Storm Drain Marking flyer and registration form to register or visit our webpage for more details. The deadline for registration is April 3rd, so don’t wait!

fishinglinebinIn the Great Lakes, fishing line is an entanglement hazard for wildlife, especially in the Maumee River area. This is because thousands of fishermen brave the cooler temperatures to catch walleye, which are migrating up from Lake Erie to spawn in the river. Given the amount of line being used during this time, there is a large amount lost or discarded improperly. In order to tackle this issue, the NOAA Marine Debris Program and Ohio’s Clean Marinas program has helped us build and distribute monofilament fishing line recycling bins around the greater Toledo area.

On February 18th, a group of volunteers and representatives from the NOAA Marine Debris Program and Ohio’s Sea Grant helped us build 20 bins, which will be distributed this spring and will allow fishermen an opportunity to recycle fishing line. Once collected, the line is shipped to the Berkley Conservation Institute and repurposed into fishing products and fish habitat structure. To further engage the community, we are seeking groups to “adopt-a-bin” and clean out the bin regularly, as well as track the line collected. 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

KidscelebratetrashEven though volunteers remove tons of trash every year during our stream cleanup events, trash accumulates quickly in our waterways. Marine debris, or trash in waterways, is a huge ongoing issue around the world. In fact, a new study estimates that 8 million tons of plastic goes into our oceans each year. There are many different actions we can take to prevent trash from reeking havoc in our waterways and PCS is working to coordinate some of those initiatives locally. Last year PCS received a grant from NOAA’s Marine Debris program, through the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, to further enhance two of our largest river cleanup initiatives, Clean Your Streams and Get the Lead Out.

With funding from NOAA Marine Debris, 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. Clean Your Streams 365 (known as CYS 365) is rolling out later this spring, as snow melts, water levels decrease and water warms up. However, we are accepting interest forms for volunteer groups now. Groups will receive all the cleanup materials they need to complete a successful cleanup including gloves, trash bags, nets, maps and an optional data collection form (to track the amount and types of trash). Sites will be available in many suburbs around Toledo focusing in Swan Creek, Ottawa River, Maumee River and Maumee Bay tributaries. Once the interest form is completed, the time and location for the cleaning event will be determined based on the groups needs while keeping in consideration and being flexible of water levels and weather.

While PCS is going ahead strong in trash removal efforts, we cannot do it alone. Trash in our environment adds up quickly, and while we are working hard to educate and prevent the issue, the process begins with you. As a reminder, it is much easier to prevent trash from getting into the rivers, than getting it out. Get started by taking part in Clean Your Streams 365 (a.k.a CYS 365) by completing this interest form.

ScoutwithdrainbagThank you and congratulations to the 70 young Scouts that attended the Youth Patch Day Workshop on Sunday, March 8th. Groups of energetic Boy and Girl Scouts from kindergarten through fifth grade earned the blue and white embroidered Partnering for Clean Streams Patch by participating in various water education activities. Water quality professionals taught the children how to become educated and active stewards of our water resources through hands-on activities. Participants played in dirt and discovered various water-loving insects, made their own fishing line recycling bin, learned about agricultural runoff, painted a protective storm drain message and explored how water is treated so it is safe for us to drink. The Workshop highlighted how we are all part of a larger balancing act between nature and people. Too much or too little of something, like water, nutrients, pollution, insects or other animals can really throw that delicate balance out of whack.

Many of the participants of the Workshop were excited to come back next year. One parent commented “The kids loved it! We would love to come back next year” and another pointed out that “This is a way to put knowledge into the kids' hands!” A huge thank you goes out to all those who participated and all those professionals who made the event possible, including Cherie Blair, Andrea Beard, Jen Huber, Jamie Kochensparger, Cheryl Rice, Patrick Lawrence, Richard Kroeger, Ann Keefe, Kari Gerwin, and Lauren Rush. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s workshop!

Currents: March

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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Storm Drain Marking Registration



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