Currents | April 2016

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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April3The PCS staff believes that everyday is Earth Day, especially in the month of April! We will be hosting tables and booths throughout the month at various events as well as running programs of our own like Storm Drain Marking. Here is a list of the events we have this month; we hope you come visit us! You can also find current information on our website calendar.

  • April 16th, 9:00am-12:00pm – Global Youth Service Day – Storm Drain Marking: We need more youth volunteers for Storm Drain Marking! Register your group to mark storm drains throughout Toledo and help protect your waterways from pollution. 
  • April 20th, 11:00am-2:00pm – BGSU Eco-Fair: Head outside & celebrate the Earth at BGSU's annual Eco-Fair! Visit our table in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Oval to find out about all sorts of ways to get involved while meeting other individuals who have a passion for change making!
  • April 22nd, 11:00am-2:00pm – Earth Day Celebration at ProMedica Toledo Hospital: Visit our table at ProMedica’s Earth Day Celebration and learn about our programs and ways to get involved!
  • April 23rd, 9:00am-5:00pm – The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Expo: Whether you are running in the marathon or cheering on the sidelines, come check out our table at the Expo to learn about all the ways we are helping the marathon go green!
  • April 23rd, 10:00am-3:00pm – Party for the Planet: Come to The Toledo Zoo to celebrate our planet by learning about plants, animals, and how we can protect them. PCS will be there educating people about marine debris in our area and what we can do to minimize it.
  • April 24th, 7:15am-2:00pm – The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon: PCS will be working the marathon; specifically we will manage the recycling, composting, and terracycling efforts at the start and finish lines. If interested in volunteering, please call us at (419) 874-0727.  

TreeFundLogoPartners for Clean Streams, in partnership with Cuyahoga River Restoration and ODNR, and with funding from The Tree Fund, is hosting the Trees & Water Tree Training Intensive Workshop on May 12, 2016 from 8:30am to 4:00pm at Wildwood Metropark. The workshop will feature several informational sessions, including: how trees function in relation to urban settings; what trees to plant and where; what professional arborists do, particularly in Areas of Concern; riparian buffer planning and planting; and a health-identification survey of trees at Wildwood. If you are a student interested in this profession, on a Tree Commission, working on municipal trees or storm water abatement, or just interested in trees, please join us for this exciting day full of hands-on learning about trees and water! Sign up today to reserve your spot! For more information or to register, please contact us at (419) 874-0727. 

April2Have you seen one of these along the river this year? This is a Fishing Line Recycling Bin, a receptacle for anglers to discard their unwanted or damaged fishing line. 2015 was the inaugural year for this program and we need your help to keep it growing! We need volunteers to help us maintain our bins, so that they remain effective and prevalent in our community.  If you adopt a bin, you will be responsible for checking the bin and emptying the contents every two to four weeks depending on location and time.  We also ask that our volunteers help track the amount of fishing line collected so that we can evaluate the success of this program. This year, the bins are located at International Park, Cullen Park, Promenade Park, Sleepy Hollow Park, Side Cut Metropark, along the river in the City of Perrysburg, and several other locations. Once collected, the line is shipped to Berkley Fishing and repurposed into new products, such as park benches and fish habitat structures.  This is a great opportunity for businesses and grade school or high school students to obtain volunteer service hours, and more importantly, foster a desire to care of the rivers now and in the future.  Your business or workplace can also personally support this program by sponsoring a bin, in which case your name or company’s logo is placed on the educational signage above the bin. To learn more and register to Adopt- or Sponsor-a-Bin, visit our website or call us at (419) 874-0727. 

April1Spring is here! It is time to get outside, and reunite with nature. If you cannot volunteer with PCS this spring, you can still contribute to our programs by donating! Being close to the Maumee River, and other lakes and streams, water is an irreplaceable part of our outdoor experiences. And that is why it is so important to protect our waterways, and therefore ensure their beauty and longevity for future generations. Rivers and streams need your support and luckily, there are people and organizations, like PCS, that can help right here in Toledo. Please support Partners for Clean Streams as we work to protect our rivers. Your monetary donation directly supports our programs like Clean Your Streams Day and Storm Drain Marking, as well as our outreach education at various public events in our region. Become a steward and a partner for clean streams today, and help make your rivers clean, clear, and safe for everyone in the Toledo area.  

April4PCS has been in the media a lot in the past month, primarily regarding our Fishing Line Recycling Bins. The more people who know about PCS and what we do, the bigger impact we can have on our region’s waterways! Thank you to The Blade, Channel 13 ABC, and NBC 24 for doing stories on our bins, and to Brian Miller for featuring us in the inaugural Maumee River Walleye Run Magazine.  Here are the links to the articles and news stories, as well as the dates they were released. Help PCS continue spreading the word about our programs, and remember to follow us on social media and share our content with your networks!

April5We’ve all heard the expression April showers bring May flowers.  But what if April showers brought flowers all summer long? There are many ways to retain and reuse the rainwater that falls in April and below we discuss how you can easily and affordably do it at home. According to the U.S. EPA, the average American family uses 320 gallons of water a day; approximately 30% of which is devoted to outdoor use, primarily watering lawns and gardens.  Unfortunately, as much as half of the water we use for watering our gardens and lawns is wasted through evaporation, wind, and runoff.  How can we better utilize our water resource to fulfill our garden’s needs? The answer is simple – capture rainwater!

Three simple ways to capture and reuse rainwater include installing rain barrels, redirecting downspouts, and planting native species in and around your garden.  Rain barrels are an inexpensive way to save water, and money! Typical rain barrels have a 50-60 gallon capacity, and if used correctly, can save 1,300 gallons of water during a growing season. Rain barrels act as a personal reservoir for your home and garden needs.  Anytime your garden needs a drink, simply draw water from your rain barrel! Rain barrels also have other benefits beyond saving water. Rain barrels decrease the strain on public water supply and minimize the amount of storm water runoff, often carrying pollutants, entering our rivers and lakes. To purchase a rain barrel, contact the Lucas County Soil and Water Conservation District at (419) 893-1966.

Another way to reuse rainwater is by redirecting your downspouts onto your lawn or garden, or into a rain barrel.  Downspouts often direct rainwater down impervious surfaces like driveways and sidewalks, leading to more runoff into storm drains.  However, redirecting downspouts towards a green space, or into your rain barrel, results in rainwater being absorbed into the ground or used to water throughout the growing season.  Let’s put this into perspective: According to the USGS Water Science School, 1,743 gallons of water runs off the average roof when 1-inch of rainfall occurs. If collected, that’s enough water to satisfy the needs of the average American family for 5 days! To learn about redirecting downspouts, and other green infrastructure, visit the U.S. EPA’s website.

A final way to retain rainwater this spring is by planting native species in and around your garden. Native plants are beautiful and low-maintenance; they have deep, thirsty roots that help retain water in your garden and absorb extra fertilizer before it can run off your yard.  Because of their deep roots and disease-resistant qualities, native plants like the Black-eyed Susan and Coneflower require less water and no added fertilizer.  For a list of native plant species, visit Naturally Native Nursery in Bowling Green, Ohio. 

Currents: April 2016

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

Andrew Curran
Vice President
Assistant Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America

Colleen Dooley
Attorney, Private Practice

Philip Blosser
Market Development Manager
Perstorp Polyols

Denise Fonner
Board Member
Private Citizen

Shawn Reinhart
Board Member
Environmental Manager, Johns Manville

Terry Shankland
Board Member
CEO, Shankland's Catering

Chris Smalley
Board Member
Park Services Supervisor
Metroparks of the Toledo Area

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