Currents | December 2020

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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December 2020summaryAs we near the end of the year it has given us the time to reflect on the work we have been able to do and the work we are going to do in the future. The pandemic has shaped our communities and our programs. We did have to turn on our heels quickly to continue working on removing, preventing, and bring awareness of marine debris. Our group sizes reduce dramatically to 10 or less. Masks are required. We invested in more grabbers so our volunteers did not have to touch PPE. Nevertheless, thanks to our volunteers and community partners, we still prevailed in removing thousands of pounds of marine debris from our waterways. Below is a summation of the positive impacts you had this year.

The storm drain marking effort was furthered by a Girl Scout pack in the Beverly community of Toledo. The 16th Get the Lead Program was a success. In total, 17 PCS volunteers and ZooTeens cleaned 131 pounds of trash from the Maumee River. Twenty-seven Clean Your Streams 365 (CYS365) events were held individually or lead by a PCS staff member this year. In total, CYS365 participants cleaned 19.19 miles of local waterways; removing 1,000 pounds of trash! Toledo Metroparks and Northwest Ohio River Runner got out on the water for three events as well and removed 1,150 pounds of trash from two Maumee River Islands and Lower Swan Creek.

Finally, Clean Your Streams 24 was another successful event that had to change rapidly because of the pandemic. We offered a virtual on your own CYS 24 option; which 176 people participated in from September 18th- September 27th. A more traditional CYS 24 was held on September 26th. The safe-distanced in-person event attracted 256 people at 7 different kick-off locations. With over 431 volunteers working in small teams across nearly 80 different locations, together we removed 16,957.11 pounds of trash from our watershed in a week. That is approximately 20,057.3 pounds of trash removed from our waterways by just about 600 volunteers! Thank you to all that showed up to volunteer, donate, or help plan. Your work has been incredible; we are looking forward to next year!

The Annual report for 2019 was postponed due to the pandemic but is available now. Check out last year’s impact here!

December RandyThis was not your average Annual General Meeting. On a chilly November evening, participants gathered together with their favorite drink over a Zoom call to celebrate the success of 2020 and brainstorm ideas for the future of Partners for Clean Streams. Virtual presentations were made, but more excitingly the Clean Streams Partner Award was given and votes were cast for board members. 

Clean Streams Partner Award was created by the Partners for Clean Streams Board of Directors in 2007 to honor exceptional individuals and/or organizations in our community that work to improve our rivers and streams. This award is based on environmental stewardship and involvement. There have been many great recipients in the past and we are excited to add Randy Nissen to the list of outstanding clean stream partners. Randy has been involved in Clean Your Streams Day with Toledo Public Schools since 2010. He was a teacher for 35 years, though now retired, he is still is active in his community. Since 2010, he has gotten hundreds of students involved in Clean Your Streams Day. We would also like to thank Randy for a connection to Earnest Brew Works, who supplied gallons of hand sanitizer (which did not smell like Crunchie Hippie at all) to keep everyone at Clean Your Streams Day healthy this year.

Partners for Clean Streams gladly welcomed Marilyn DuFour from the Monroe Street United Methodist Church as a new board member at Partners for Clean Streams. Though she is new to the Board, Marilyn has been a lifelong partner for clean stream. She has been a kick-off coordinator for Clean Your Streams day for 20 years! This year, she helped coordinated a safe distanced in-person kick-off; organizing 17 volunteers to safely clean our streams. Partners for Clean Streams would also like to congratulate Joan King, Denise Fonner, and Bill Buri for continuing their seats on the Board. We are looking forward to working with you! 

Copy of Board 1There are many ways to donate directly to support Partners for Clean Streams - on Facebook, our website, or click Donate at the top of the newsletter- but you can shop and support us too! This holiday season link your Kroger card or Amazon Smiles account to donate to PCS. Both Amazon and Kroger donate a percentage of what you purchase to us at no extra cost to you! That means your holiday shopping goes the extra mile. Your loved one receives a good meal and a great gift AND your community receives safer water. Before your next stop at Kroger for all of your holiday fixings, link your Kroger plus card to Partners for Clean Streams. You can link your Kroger Plus card here. Next time you shop on Amazon for a quick deal for the holidays, link your account with Partners for Cleans Streams and make your gift do double the good. You can link your Amazon account here.

December NOAACalling all K-8 students! Sharpen your pencils, crayons, paintbrushes, grab some fresh paper, and sketch out marine debris impacts on the Great Lakes or what you are doing to prevent marine debris. The NOAA Marine Debris Art Contest is open until December 15th. The winners are determined by a panel of NOAA awards panel. The selected 13 winners of the Art Contest will be featured in NOAA Marine Debris 2022 calendar. Students in grades K-8 in from all U.S. states and territories in federally recognized public, private, and home schools.  For full contest and submission requirements click here.

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