Currents | January 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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Though the months, weeks2021safety, and days all seemed to blur together, one thing we can tell you with clarity is it is finally 2021. 2020 brought change to our programming so we adjusted to make them as safe as possible so we could continue our mission for clean, clear, and safe waterways. At the start of the pandemic, we said we would continue to monitor our programs and adjust as need be - which will stay true for 2021. As vaccines become amply available to the general public, we again will adjust our programs. At the start of the year, we will remain primarily remote to minimize contact as need be; continuing with our independent Clean Your Streams 365 and Storm Drain Marking. We will also be continuing small groups of 10 or less to do programs, such as Clean Your Streams 365 and Get the Lead Out. Our presentations will remain virtual as well, and we are evaluating how to send out reusable bags and straws to volunteers so they can continue to reduce marine debris. 

As vaccines continue to be distributed, we will look towards state guidelines and evaluate opening our programs to their normal in-person capacity as safely as possible. We will still incorporate the independent virtual cleanups, year-round, through the Clean Swell App. This year we have extended our reach in cleaning marine debris from our waterways, having volunteers doing cleanups in many geographic locations by using the Clean Swell App. We hope to fold in this 2020 experience and the new things learned to our usual operations at PCS.  We are currently are looking forward to brainstorming how to create virtual learning and stewardship opportunities for youth as an alternative to our traditional Patch Day, and socially-safe, water quality canoe, and kayak paddles. You can always adopt a fishing line bin through our Reel In & Recycle program and collect lines on your own or with your family as you are out enjoying the riverside parks. Thank you to all that helped out whether it was a social media share, donation, recommendation, donation, or volunteering.  We hope you stay involved as we grow as an organization in 2021!


Binge WaterAs the winter months roll on and we hunker down inside binging our favorite series on Netflix or Hulu, sometimes these nights all seem to roll together to pass the time. While watching the Queen’s Gambit in a couple of nights was riveting, we are now left looking for the next intriguing thing to watch. Luckily, we have created a list of well-crafted, and one Emmy award-winning, documentaries about marine debris to spice up your binging routine.

Dive into a world of plastic issues with a PBS Newshour Documentary:

Watch the Emmy award-winning series about trash in our waters from NOAA Marine Debris:

Discover a world of plastics in A Plastic Ocean on Netflix or Amazon Prime

Learn from experts from around the world on a growing issue from the BBC Documentary, A Plastic Wave:

GTThankyouThank you to all the generous donors that gave on Giving Tuesday. Together you help raise $1,155 for Giving Tuesday. We had a lovely response on Giving Tuesday but fell a little short of our fundraising goal for the day, but we did have an anonymous donor who matched $500 dollars of donations! Though we did come up a little short of our goal, we are very pleased with the responses we got for Giving Tuesday and we are reminded about the dedication and respect our partners have for our rivers. These donations are critical to support our programming and educational outreach.

While we do get grants for specific programs, that funding is very restricted but unrestricted funding, via donations, helps us build programs that increase educational and volunteer opportunities to protect our rivers. So, thank you for taking the time to remember the simple, basic things in life; healthy rivers, clean ecosystems, and flourishing wildlife. With your donation, we can make these things a standard for many years to come. If you missed Giving Tuesday we encourage you to give generously by becoming a member of Partners for Clean Streams or with a one-time, no-obligation donation. Thank you for your generosity and thank you for your crucial support over the past year.

salty tip 2De-icers are great for keeping us safe when we drive or go for walks in the wintertime. But too many de-icers in our waterways can cause permeant damage. Municipalities and homeowners often employ the use of salt to de-ice roads and sidewalks. While this makes it safer to drive or walk, it often creates a dangerous situation for our rivers, streams, lakes, and groundwater. Once the snow has melted, the salt and other chemicals used to de-ice roadways leach into the waterways, changing the pH balance and becoming a permanent pollutant. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of environmentally safe, effective, and inexpensive alternatives to salt. This means the best way to reduce salt in our waterways is to reduce salt at the application source. 


Tips to reduce the use of salt on your driveway/sidewalk:

  • Do not use salt after temperatures reach below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Salt does not help melt the ice after that point.
  • Only use sand as traction. Sand will not melt ice but is a good substitute after temperatures reach below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you have a chronic problem with ice forming, determine the source and divert the melting snow away from your sidewalks and driveways to an area where the ice will not be a problem. 
  • Shovel early in the day, the sun will warm the surface and help melt new snow and prevent the need for de-icers.
  • Shovel before you drive a vehicle on the driveway to reduce packed snow that can turn icy.
  • Limit the use of de-icers, especially those with the most negative impacts to be used only when needed.
  • Sweep up extra salt. If it is visible on dry pavement, it is no longer working for its intended purpose and will end up in our water system.
  • Do not use fertilizers for snow and ice removal. Fertilizers are very poor at ice melting and removal and melting and increase nutrient runoff to nearby streams.

Remember anything that you put on the surface will flow into our waterways untreated. By following these salting tips, we can limit the amount of chloride pollution that enters our streams, rivers, and lakes during the winter months. Smart application of salt can make it safer for you and safer for your waterways this spring. 

Next year, we will be working with University of Toledo researchers and TMACOG to identify local waterways that are significantly impacted by salt pollution as the first step to developing alternatives and best practices that local municipalities and commercial salt applicators can take to better manage the salt application as well.

Currents: January 2021

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

Marilyn DuFour
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