Currents May 2018

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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GCMrecyclingFor the third year, PCS served as the Green Team at the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon. We definitely did our part for the planet on Earth Day this April, by recycling thousands of pounds of cardboard, glass, aluminum, plastic, heat sheets, Gu packs and more! Through our partnership with the Toledo Roadrunners and the University of Toledo, we were able to make the marathon more sustainable. PCS and Green Team volunteers were stationed inside UT’s Glass Bowl as the runners finished and across Lot 10 at the post-race party. We may not have run a marathon, but we certainly walked 26.2 miles as we diverted recyclables from a lifetime in a landfill. PCS would like to thank all of our Green Team volunteers and the UT Rocket Recycling team who finished strong for Earth Day! Check out our Facebook page to see pictures from this fantastic event.



 Recycling Results:

  • 17 volunteers
  • 45 lbs of Gu Packs (Terracycled®)
  • 48 lbs of Heat Sheets
  • 1599 lbs of cardboard
  • 774 lbs of glass
  • 12 lbs of plastic bags
  • 303 lbs of plastic bottles and cups
  • TOTAL: 2798 pounds of recyclables diverted from the landfill

This year, in addition to participating at the marathon, PCS was invited to present an informational booth inside the Expo. At our table, we talked to runners about the importance of the Green Team and our mission of marine debris prevention. Throughout the weekend, with all races combined, runners cross the Ottawa River 14 times. With all the waste generated by this event, we wanted to make sure that none of it ended up in this ever-improving river. The educational component of the Green Team this year helped us to explain why our role is so critical at the Glass City Marathon. It was the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day!

SpringCleaningDespite the snowy weather we had in April, spring is officially here! That means it’s time for spring cleaning and Partners for Clean Streams has several opportunities for stream cleanups this month. The water level has receded, leaving behind unsightly marine debris in our waterways. Our Clean Your Streams 365 program is the perfect way to remove these pollutants before they are able to travel any further in the Maumee watershed. CYS 365 is designed for smaller groups (such as schools, community service, churches, businesses, organizations) to cleanup at a location and date of their choosing. PCS facilitates these cleanups by lending supplies, providing educational information on marine debris and cleanup safety, and keeping data card records to determine what specifically is being found during these cleanups. May is the perfect month to get outside and give back to your community by protecting and enhancing our water resources. You can sign up for a CYS 365 on our website by clicking here or call our office at (419) 874-0727.

We already have a few CYS 365’s scheduled for May:

  • St. Rose School in Perrysburg – Orleans Park
  • Mud Hens in Toledo – downtown
  • Great American Cleanup in Perrysburg – Orleans Park (May 12)          
    • Volunteers are welcome to join us from 9-12 in the big parking lot at Orleans Park. Supplies will be provided.

Call of the Scenic River posterHelp us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Ohio’s Scenic Rivers Program this month. PCS, in partnership with ODNR, Black Swamp Conservancy, and the 577 Foundation will be hosting a movie night at the Maumee Indoor Theatre at 7pm on May 30th. Doors open at 6pm, with informational tables from our conservation partners. We will be screening the movie “Call of the Scenic River: An Ohio Journey” and following the presentation with a Q&A panel session. Donations will be accepted and there will be a chance to win prizes following the movie. This is a can’t-miss movie for all who live and play near the Mighty Maumee. For more information about this screening, visit the Black Swamp Conservancy’s webpage:

The state of Ohio led the river preservation movement in 1968 by passing the nation’s first Scenic Rivers Act. This forward-thinking legislation has helped Ohio to protect the important waterbodies that we enjoy today. In fact, the Maumee River has been designated as a Scenic River since 1974 for its natural characteristics and aesthetic value. Portions of the Maumee River have been designated both Scenic and Recreational. The Scenic portion of the Maumee is 43 miles, beginning at the Indiana-Ohio state line and ending at the US 24 bridge, west of Defiance. The Maumee River also has significant historical and cultural importance and has been a central mode of transportation, especially during the regions settlement. This movie screening is an excellent way to learn more about our Maumee River and celebrate this pivotal anniversary!

MarineDebris2 NOAAFollowing Earth Day, PCS was invited to present at the Way Public Library in Perrysburg about the plastic pollution problem that is affecting every waterway in our planet, from ditches to oceans. Plastic is the number one source of marine debris that we are finding during our local cleanups and that is reported internationally. Specifically, microplastics - plastic particles smaller than 5mm – are posing a significant threat to our waterways and the wildlife that depends upon them. When plastic breaks down, it doesn’t dissolve or biodegrade. Instead, it disintegrates into even smaller particles that make it almost impossible to remove and ends up being consumed by birds, marine animals, and potentially humans. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.

It seems everything we buy these days contains plastic. Did you know that cigarette butts (specifically the filters) are made from plastic fibers and remain in the ecosystem for over five years? Plastic has become increasingly popular in the past few decades as it is cheap and easy to produce. Single use items, especially food containers and utensils, are used for minutes but remain in our waterways for hundreds of years. Marine debris, particularly long-lasting plastic pollution, negatively affects the aesthetics (Beneficial Use Impairment #11 for the Maumee Area of Concern), ecological habitat, flourishing wildlife, human recreation, and even our drinking water. Our mission at Partners for Clean Streams, is to work to improve all the facets of our regional waterways. Our cleanups help to remove the debris, but our educational outreach helps to prevent it from ending up in our water system in the first place.

The EPA’s Earth Day theme for 2018 is Ending Plastic Pollution. This is a global problem with far-reaching affects. We all have role to play in plastic consumption. Here are some small, simple steps you can make each day to do your part for plastic reduction:

  1. Don’t use a straw when you go out to eat.
  2. Bring re-usable bags to the grocery store.
  3. Buy items in bulk and limit the amount of single-use items you purchase.
  4. Use refillable water bottles and coffee cups.
  5. Bring your own cutlery to work for lunch.
  6. Don’t buy hygiene products that contain microbeads that are almost impossible for water treatment plants to remove.
  7. Use glass containers for storing leftovers.
  8. Choose glass over plastic bottled beverages. Glass can be recycled an infinite number of times!
  9. Invest in a compost bin to eliminate the amount of plastic trash bags needed.
  10. Keep a Consumption Diary for a week to see how much plastic and waste you and your family are actually generating and make a goal to reduce it by 25 percent.

As with any behavior, making a conscious decision to follow these tips will eventually become a habit. Start with one tip until it becomes routine and then add another to make a big difference in a small way. The plastic pollution problem is not going away anytime soon, but we can all make choices to be part of the solution.  

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