Currents | February 2021

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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Wetlands Feb CurrentsOn February 2nd we celebrate wetlands and their enormous benefits to our water quality. They harbor rich biodiversity, help with floodwater storage, and help provide nutrient filtration for our rivers. In Northwest Ohio, we have an extra reason to celebrate because we live in the Great Black Swamp. Pre-drainage, this extensive nearly one-million-acre glacial-fed wetland, surrounded the Northwest Ohio region, giving life to robust and complex ecosystems. In our region, we have rare wet prairie ecosystems, vernal pools, and sand dunes that seemingly rise out of an expanse of wet fields. While today most of the biodiversity is lost, slowly, restoration practices are reviving critical areas of the region.

As ecologists, biologists, hydrologists, botanists, and engineers revive our ecosystems, one dark aspect of this restoration process lurks, on, and beneath the surface. Pollution in water runoff is affecting the vitality of restoration processes. Pollutants like salt and degraded plastics in our water can hinder the restoration process in wetlands. Thankfully, there are small changes that you and I can incorporate into our lives that will help reduce polluted run-off to help our wetlands thrive again.

AOC Feb CurrentsWatch the amazing efforts of restoring the Maumee Area of Concern (AOC) in the warm convenience of your home this winter. This video was released last October to highlight the progress in the Maumee AOC. Area of Concerns (AOC) is considered environmentally degraded areas in need of remediation. The Maumee Area of Concern was designated by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1987. The Maumee AOC Advisory Committee (MAAC) is a committee of specialists, academics, and citizens from an array of Northwest Ohio organizations, that assess sites for restoration or remediation, advise Ohio EPA and other agencies and work together to restore the Maumee Area of Concern. Partners for Clean Streams is proud to help facilitate the MAAC and to address the aesthetics impairment with the removal of marine debris from our rivers. This video encapsulates the work of an astonishing network of organizations determined to make the Maumee Area of Concern delisted and fishable and swimmable. View the progress here:

GCM Feb CurrentsFor the sixth year running, Partners for Clean Streams (PCS) will support the “Green Team” at the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon in April. In 2019, the Green Team recycled almost 3,000 pounds of cardboard, glass, aluminum, plastic, heat sheets, Gu packs, and more! 

Most of our work will be “behind-the-scenes” leading up to the fast-paced weekend. Volunteers can sign up by contacting PCS and we will be happy to find a role for you or your small group. If you are running or want to support a runner during the marathon weekend, please consider supporting us as a charity partner through a donation. At PCS, we promote healthy runners and healthy rivers.

Mirco Feb CurrentsLess than 5mm in diameter plastic pieces flow effortlessly throughout our waterways; microplastics are known as a danger to marine life and hinder our water quality. Studies throughout the years have found that there are as many if not more microplastics in freshwater rivers and lakes than in the ocean. The Great Lakes are the biggest bodies of fresh water on Earth and unfortunately are not an exception to the microplastic problem.

In a study done by the USGS in 2014, they sampled 29 Great Lakes Tributaries, including the Maumee River and Portage River. What they found was startling. On average fibers/lines were the most commonly found microplastic. The next most found item in sampling the 29 tributaries were fragments; which was more prevalent in urban areas. Tributaries were more likely to have fibers/lines. The Maumee and Portage Rivers, which are significantly more rural overall, did have more fibers and lines in their samples.  Luckily, we can be a solution to microplastics in our waterways. Check out the Huron River Watershed Council article on ways to prevent microplastics and the

You can find the link to the USGS study here:

Currents: February 2021

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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