Currents October 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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Danielle SomarooWe had an amazing 22nd Annual Clean Your Streams Day on Saturday, September 22nd! Over 1,000 volunteers came out to our seven kick-off sites throughout the greater Toledo area.  Luckily, it cooled down from the 90-degree highs we had during the work week for superb clean up conditions.  We are currently working to tally all the data cards, so we can get back to you soon with a total number of pounds of trash collected. Make sure to check in with us on social media to view pictures, stats, and fun finds from the day. Some interesting discoveries include: a new couch, a bike, a briefcase with an ipad, a scooter, road signs, and lots and lots of tires.   

PCS First Solar We couldn’t pull off Clean Your Streams Day without the generous support from sponsors, partners, volunteers, and planning team members.  We would like to express our gratitude to our generous donors who believe in clean, clear, and safe water by financially supporting Clean Your Streams 2018. And it’s not too late to make a donation, so we can continue this awesome program. Big thanks to O-I Charities Foundation, The University of Toledo Office of the President, City of Toledo Environmental Services, First Solar, Lucas County Storm Water Utility, City of Oregon, Kwest Group, Perstorp Polyols, Toledo Waterways Initiative, and the Ohio EPA.  Your support allowed us to equip our volunteers with cleanup supplies, host the Appreciation Picnic, and support the many staff hours that go into Clean Your Streams Day.

The waterways around Toledo are the real winners of CYS, but thanks to our door prize donors, some volunteers were winners, too!  Fin, Feather, Fur Outfitters and Earnest Brew works donated gift sets; the Toledo Zoo donated an annual family membership; African Safari Wildlife Park gifted PCS 2 8-person vouchers; Olander Park offered a free shelter rental; Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District and Paige Sloma put in hand-painted rain barrels with diverter attachments for the raffle; and the Toledo Mud Hens and Walleye showed their support for clean streams with tickets to their respective events this season. Thanks for making the raffle so much fun!  We would also like to thank Don Zellers from WSPD for agreeing to MC the Appreciation Picnic.  He did a great job and kept everyone on schedule.

Our CYS planning team members work on this program for months to ensure that we have enough volunteers, sites, donations, and support to make CYS successful.  Thanks to our amazing planning team:  Marilyn DuFour (City of Toledo), Bryan Twitchell (Monroe St. United Methodist Church), Tim Neiderkorn (UT), Deanna Bobak (CEC), Randy Nissen (TECHS), Erika Buri and Danielle Marino (Olander Park System), Kristin Jenkins and Matt Beil (Hull Inc.), Andrea Beard and Don Nelson (City of Oregon), Lauren Rush (City of Perrysburg), Kevin Laughlin (Wood County Engineers), Bob Neubert (Lucas County Engineers), and Eileen Mitchell (City of Toledo).  Thanks for making all the meetings, emails, recon missions, printing, and brainstorming all the minor and major issues that we had along the way.

And last but not least, we are so overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of our volunteers. We had a huge number of registrants this year and such a great turnout on Saturday, September 22nd. The willingness to work for our waterways and remove marine debris was apparent by the sheer volume of trash collected that day.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to volunteer to beautify our community and improve local water quality.  Partners for Clean Streams is nothing without our volunteers and we greatly appreciate your dedication to this program.  Please remember that you can continue to support clean streams year round by donating to PCS or signing up for one of our other programs.

UT pharmacyThanks to all our groups, schools, and organizations who signed up for our annual Challenge Awards and River Partner Certifications!  The waterways were the true winners of the day, but read below to see who earned their dirt on their shirt as they cleaned their streams!

Youth Challenges:

1st place Battle of the Bags (most bags of trash) – YWCA Teen Outreach Program – 63 bags

1st place Most Volunteers – Toledo Early College High School – 131 volunteers

1st place Awesome Effort (bags/ person) – Maumee Valley Country Day School – 2.54 bags/ person

Collegiate Challenges:

1st place Battle of the Bags (most bags of trash) – UT College of Pharmacy – 177 bags

1st place Most Volunteers – UT College of Pharmacy – 41 volunteers 

1st place Awesome Effort (bags/ person) – UT Engineers Without Borders – 7.18 bags/ person

River Partner Certifications:

Watershed Warrior (50+ volunteers) – TECHS (131) and First Solar (102)

Stream Protector (10-29 volunteers) – Johns Manville (25), O-I (25), Civil and Environmental Consultants (19), Ohio EPA (16), UT Student American Fisheries Society (16), Hull Inc. (15), Lowe’s (14), Faurecia Clean Mobility (11), and Toledo Edison (10)

Creek Crusaders (1-9 volunteers) – Mannik & Smith Group (8)

CleanSwellPCS uses data cards during Clean Your Streams Day to track not only trash, but trends in trash.  CYS volunteers use the data cards to indicate the specific type, quantity, and volume of marine debris that they pick up. After PCS staff receives them back, we carefully configure the total data from the day into a global waterway cleanup program, through our partners at Ocean Conservancy.  Ocean Conservancy is an international non-profit who uses data from groups like PCS to effect personal and political change in the interest of clean water for humans and wildlife.

The numbers don’t lie – sometimes the biggest impact is the seeing the total pounds of trash in black and white that CYS volunteers are able to pick up in a three-hour span. The total number helps us show the prevalence of marine debris in our local waterways and gauge whether litter is overall improving, remaining the same, or getting better.  However, we can also break down the data to understand what is going on at specific sites such as illegal dumping, dead wildlife, single-use plastic items, etc.  Data cards serve as an educational tool to effect real change.  Clean Your Streams Day is a critical program in the reduction of marine debris, but also the prevention of it through education.  

Clean Your Streams doesn’t have to only last a day!  The Ocean Conservancy has developed a free app – Clean Swell, that works as an electronic data card.  Next time you’re out at a site and it is less than pristine, you can pull up the app, pick up the trash, and automatically log it into the International Coastal Conservancy database (the same one we use for CYS!).  You can see what other groups are finding, who else is doing a cleanup nearby or in another country.  Technology helps connect us as we all struggle to support healthy rivers, lakes, and oceans.  Consider downloading Clean Swell and track your trash or treasure!

BarbieBarbie Kalta has been helping us prepare for Clean Your Streams Day by interning at PCS.  She is a senior at BGSU, majoring in Environmental Science with a focus on Watershed Management.  She is using her internship here to gain experience in planning, communicating, and educating in the environmental field.  Prior to PCS, she interned at Solon Wastewater Treatment Plant. She enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, and anything outdoors!  It has been a huge asset to have her assist with Get the Lead Out and Clean Your Streams Day.  Barbie has a bright future ahead of her and we hope she is learning more about water quality in Northwest Ohio through her internship here!

Currents: October 2018

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Bob Neubert
President of the Board
Lucas Co. Engineers

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

Joan King
First Solar

Kyle Spicer
Private Citizen

Denise Fonner
Board Member
Private Citizen

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

Bill Hoefflin
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