Currents March 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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FLB Workshop VolunteersOn February 25th,  local youth, our Board President, and our staff worked together to assemble 20 new fishing line recycling bins for the “Reel In and Recycle” program. Kids got their gloved-covered hands sticky to glue the pieces of PVC pipe together and then add the finishing touches to the bins with stickers that will let everyone know that these are not something for trash, but serve a greater purpose. Fishing line that enters these bins will be safely removed, cleaned (usually by PCS staff or our ZooTeen partners) and then delivered to Berkley Conservation Institute to be recycled into fish habitat! The bins created at this workshop will replace damaged ones from the ice NW Ohio saw last winter along with adding additional bins to the 45 that are already scattered across the Greater Toledo Area!

To find where our bins are located go to: and click on Bin Locations. While there you can also sign up to adopt, host, or sponsor- a-Bin and help us promote streams and lakes that are clean, clear and safe!

Lucas SWCD Rain GardenWhen asked about the benefits of rain water capture, the gardeners out there will likely tell you that it helps to cut down on water bills during the growing season. However, the ecologists out there will also tell you that is can help reduce the ever-present issue of nutrients and other contaminants flowing in our streams, rivers, and lakes. But how can installing a rain barrel/rain garden on your property help reduce the amount of contaminants, like excess nutrients, from entering our waterways when there are typically not a great deal of those contaminants in rainwater?

The answer is pretty straight-forward. As rain runs off of lawns or over hardened surfaces like sidewalks and roads, it picks up chemicals on those surfaces; think fertilizers, oil and grease, road salt, etc. Many of these contaminants are harmful to aquatic critters (fish, amphibians, etc.), and you are probably well aware of the annual Lake Erie algal bloom that the runoff of fertilizer-filled waters contributes to.

In summary, there are several reasons to divert rain water away from our NW Ohio surface waters, and fortunately, there are several ways that home and business owners do this! Below are summaries of three options; rain barrels, downspout redirection, and planting native vegetation/rain gardens.

  • Rain barrels are an inexpensive way to save water/money and minimize the effects of runoff. Typical rain barrels have a 50-60 gallon capacity, and if used correctly, can save 1,300 gallons of water during a growing season. Anytime your garden needs water, simply draw water from your rain barrel! To purchase a rain barrel or to sign up for a rain barrel workshop, contact the Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District at (419) 893-1966.
  • Building Downspouts can be redirected to flow onto your lawn or garden, or into a rain barrel.  Redirecting downspouts towards a green space, or into your rain barrel (for garden use later), results in rainwater being absorbed into the ground where natural filtration can take place. To learn about redirecting downspouts, and other green infrastructure, visit the U.S. EPA’s website.
  • Native plants in your garden are beautiful and very 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. Another plus - due to their deep roots and disease-resistant qualities, native plants like the Black-eyed Susan and Coneflower require less water and no added fertilizer. For great list of places to purchase native plant in the Toledo area, visit this Rain Garden Initiative (RGI) link. If you are interested in taking it a step further and building a rain garden, these RGI links (about and how to) are helpful.

GCM VolunteersSoon runners from all over will be in Toledo for the 44th Mercy Health Glass City marathon. With over 10,000 people projected to be attending the race, runners and spectators, that means there will be a TON of trash. Partners for Clean Streams has been involved in this race for the past 5 years as the “Green Team”; recycling thousands of pounds of materials that would otherwise make its way into the landfill. We are looking for volunteers to assist us once again to help make the marathon as sustainable as possible. Sign up to volunteer at this link and scroll down to or do a page search for the Green Team.

Green Team Dates:

  • April 25, 2020: 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM (we need AT LEAST 8 people)
  • April 26, 2020: 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM (we need AT LEAST 15 people)
  • April 26, 2020: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM  (we need AT LEAST 15 people)

Being the primary point for recycling is a huge task! Please consider helping!

Feb20204Since you are reading this article, we know that you follow PCS news in some form or fashion. We are glad that you have found us here and want to make sure you know about all of our news platforms. If you are a Facebook and/or Twitter user, you will find frequent updates from us regarding upcoming events, volunteer impacts, and news from around the Greater-Toledo area (and the world), covering ways that people like you are working towards cleaner waterways! We are also on Instagram and YouTube, and typically use these platforms to share news and photos/videos of our wonderful volunteers in action.

Links to all of our platforms are below:

Currents: March 2020

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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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

Bill Buri
Board Member
Pexco Packaging


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