Currents | May

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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Unfortunately, we are postponing the Tree Training Intensive Workshop that was scheduled for May 12th, from 8:30am to 4:00pm at the Ward Pavilion, Wildwood Metropark. We are not certain of the new date currently but we make an announcement once we know. Check our website and social media for updates. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact our office at (419) 874-0727. If you have already registered for the workshop, we will contact you directly by email with the re-scheduled date.

May1Thank you to the 88 youth volunteers that took to the streets on April 16th for Storm Drain Marking, as a part of Global Youth Service Day. These volunteers, from YMCA, scout groups, and the 4H Club, marked a total of 304 storm drains and handed out educational door hangers to 1,063 homes. Through their hard work, our volunteers reminded residents living in Northwood, Sylvania, Washington Township, Waterville, and Oregon that storm drains lead directly to the nearest ditch, creek, or waterway untreated. To help us all remember, a good rule of thumb about what should go down a storm drain is “if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t pour it!” If you know a group that would be interested in participating in Storm Drain Marking throughout the summer, please contact us to get scheduled. Thank you again to our dedicated youth volunteers!  

May4Mark your calendar’s for the 20th Annual Clean Your Streams Day on September 17th, 2016! Join us from 8:30am to 12:00pm to cleanup our waterways of northwest Ohio, with an appreciation picnic to follow. The kick-off locations that we are currently planning include University of Toledo, Monroe St. United Methodist Church, Olander Park, Oregon Municipal Building, International Park, University of Toledo Medical College, and Johns Manville in Waterville. More locations are to be determined! We also offer friendly competitions between our youth, collegiate, and corporate volunteer groups. Event sponsors are needed now and will receive a lot of public recognition.  Registration will open after August 1st, so plan ahead and join us in our efforts to make the waterways of northwest Ohio clean, clear, and safe! To check out last year's Clean Your Streams results, head to our website!

May3Summer will be here before we know it and you know what that means? It’s time for PCS’s summer volunteer opportunities!! Two great ways that you can get involved with PCS this summer is through our annual programs, Get the Lead Out! and Clean Your Streams 365.

The water levels of the Maumee River are lowering, slowly, and the walleye have made their runs. That means that soon we can wander along the banks of the Maumee looking for left-behind lead and fishing line. Get the Lead Out! is one of our annual programs. It is great for volunteers of all ages and can be done throughout the summer season. We have six public events scheduled throughout the summer, with the first two coming up on June 9th and June 23rd from 6:00-8:00pm at Side Cut Metropark. You can also schedule your own private event. Contact our office if you plan to attend one of our upcoming public events or wish to schedule your own private Get the Lead Out! event. Since the program began in 2005, our volunteer groups have collected almost 300 pounds of lead from the riverbanks! And we want you to help us keep removing lead and line out of our waterways! Still need convincing that this program is great for you? This video will take you up close to what it's really like to take part in Get the Lead Out! For more information or to register a group, check out our website.

Clean Your Streams 365 is an extension of our annual Clean Your Streams Day that occurs every September. In an effort to give more power to the public to reduce marine debris locally and because our rivers collect trash year round, we decided they should be cleaned 365 days a year (except, of course, when the river is flooded or frozen!). Clean Your Streams 365 allows groups of any size, age, and/or ability level to directly improve rivers by working in streams and along the bank. Upon registration, volunteers will be assigned a location to clean depending on their skills, preference, and cleanup needs. We loan out a supply kit complete with cleanup supplies, First Aid kits, data collection reporting forms, and detailed instructions. Date and time depends on weather, water levels of the river, and group preferences. This way, we can give water a hand virtually 365 days a year! For information or to register a group, check out our website

May2We couldn’t have asked for a better day on Sunday, April 24th.  Not only did we have beautiful weather, but we successfully diverted thousands of plastic water bottles and cups, heat sheets, water cups, Gu Packs, and cardboard and pizza boxes from the landfill.

Way back in August, Partners for Clean Streams partnered with Toledo Roadrunners to go green at the 40th Annual Mercy Health Glass City Marathon.  The plan was ever-evolving, and we never stopped learning. Ultimately, what we decided was feasible on race-day was recycling the plastic bottles, cups, heat sheets and cardboard, composting the food waste and pizza boxes, and TerraCycling the water cups and Gu Packs. This was no small task. Our time leading up to race-day was spent preparing signage for the various bins we had, helping train water-stop volunteers, connecting with our community partners and volunteers, and planning the overall layout and schedule for the recycling at the finish line area.

Before we knew it, race-day had arrived. Bright and early at 7:00am, runners gathered at the starting line on Bancroft Street to soon begin their respective races.  Meanwhile, PCS staff and volunteers were busy preparing for their own battle that day – the battle to recycle, compost, and TerraCycle as much of the marathon’s waste as possible. We set up recycling pods in six different areas in Lot 10, for runners to separate their waste into bins designated for landfill, recycling, and compost.  We also had volunteers out on the racecourse helping our cause, sorting and collecting water cups and Gu Packs. Many runners approached our volunteers with much appreciation for what we were doing, and were interested in learning more about PCS.

At the end of the day, we knew we had succeeded by what we didn’t see – the second 30-yard dumpster meant for more of the marathon’s waste was empty! What we did see was even better. The 20-yard compost dumpster was overflowing with pizza boxes and food waste, including plates and napkins, and was successfully delivered to Hirzel Farms in Pemberville, Ohio to be composted. The University of Toledo’s bins for plastics and cardboard were overflowing, and those materials were processed on-site at Plant Operations. Approximately 700-800 pounds of cardboard and 100 pounds of plastic were collected on race day. UT also collected 850 pounds of glass beverage bottles to be recycled. The 22 different water-stops, and their volunteers, helped us collect thousands of wet-wax cups and 20 pounds worth of empty Gu Packs; these were eventually shipped to the TerraCycle facility in New Jersey to be repurposed into new products.  We also collected the heat sheets that runners use to keep warm after the race; this was a part of the Blankets for Boards initiative and they were delivered to Trex Decking and the AFM Heat Sheet Company to be recycled.

All in all, we had a great day doing something that has never been done before at the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon. We are proud to have been a part of this special day for Toledo and are already thinking of ways we can reduce waste even more at next year’s marathon.

We couldn’t have done this without the help of our community partners – Toledo Roadrunners, The University of Toledo, Hirzel Farms, Republic Waste, and TerraCycle – and our volunteers – Zoo Teens, several of our Board Members, volunteers from the University of Toledo and Mercy Health, and all the marathon volunteers in Lot 10 and along the race course.  Thank you to everyone who took this idea and ran with it!

Check out our marathon photo album that documents all that we accomplished on race day! You can also find the link in the newsletter sidebar. 

Currents: May 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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View the Glass City Marathon Photo Album




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