Currents | June 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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Top10volAnd they are off! Volunteers have been coming out strong this year! So far, we have over 60 volunteers removing 724 pounds of trash and 10,483 items from our waterways. The trash leader so far is cigarette butts. It blew the other marine debris contenders right out of the water, with a total of 4,074. In second, we have food wrappers and third place is plastic pieces. The graph displays how the rest of the top 10 stack up.

Many groups have come out this year to show their love for their waterways. In the lead we have Bowling Green State University’s American Society of Microbiology completing 4 different clean-ups. So far, they have removed 488 items from the Maumee River. Close on their heels, we have Toledo FFA completing 3 clean-ups, ranging from the headwaters of the Maumee to the tributaries of Ottawa River.

But this is just the start! We have seven more months to complete this set of data. You can register for a CYS 365 or sign-up to receive emails about our public events, such as GLO and CYS 365, here.

June GLOAs the aquatic version of John Muir would read, the water is calling and we must GLO! Following the spring walleye run and white bass run on the Maumee River, the Get the Lead Out (GLO) program helps ensure that fish and stream-dependent wildlife are healthy and viable. We are looking forward to GLO this summer and hope you will join us! Sessions will start mid-June and run through late August. Sign up to be on our emailing list to receive the dates, check our calendar on the website, or follow us on social media so you do not miss the action!

Fishing line can remain in the ecosystem for over 600 years and can be detrimental to fish and wildlife due to entanglement. Monofilament line is virtually invisible, making it hard to remove from the banks of the rivers and branches on which it gets caught. Our Get the Lead Out program removes this plastic-based pollution and debris from local waterways so wildlife can continue to flourish and people can continue to fish.

Last year, 17 volunteers removed 131 pounds of trash. The fishing line we collect during Get the Lead Out is sorted, cleaned, and sent to Berkley Conservation Institute. They recycle and repurpose the used line into fish spawning enclosures, helping support and sustain critical fish populations for the future.

June OtterDredgeAfter 20 years of investigations of the sediment on Otter Creek’s creek bed and its stream and ecological conditions, we are excited to share that U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineer’s Otter Creek Project started in April 2021. This project is in the process of removing 1.7 miles of contaminated sediments in the lower Otter Creek and mouth of Otter Creek into Maumee Bay.

Over the course of the summer, around 57,000 cubic yards of the contaminated creek bed will be pumped into the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority confined disposal facility, where it will remain forever. This is about the equivalent of three football fields filled 10 feet high of polluted sediment. The contaminants found at the creek bed were Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (found in fossil fuels) and Diesel Range Organics. This project will hopefully reduce the associated toxicity and reduce the toxic exposure to wildlife.

After the creek muck is removed, a one-foot sand cover mixed with organic material will be placed in the creek. This will provide a barrier to any remaining pollutants and offer a new surface for organisms to re-establish their populations. New habitat structures will also be placed along the lower mile of Otter Creek to support important wildlife habitats. This project is one of the many projects prioritized by the Maumee Area of Concern Advisory Committee to improve our waterways by improving wildlife habitat and the benthic macroinvertebrates (i.e. little organisms) on the creek bed.

Stay up to date on the amazing progress of this project by following the Maumee AOC on social media to see the project updates and videos from lead agencies. 

June RiverRallyNot everyone gets excited about sitting on Zoom for several hours for four days discussing how to run a non-profit organization dedicated to clean rivers. But we sure were! We were excited to participate and share our stories at the second virtual River Rally. We had the chance to join professional river experts and learn countless techniques for preserving our rivers here in our corner of northwest Ohio. Sessions included tips on how to navigate the virtual world of river stewardship, utilize our resources better, involve board members in daily activities, and how to tell others about our unique story. But online sessions were not the end of River Rally.

We also participated in River Network’s Community Clean-up Challenge using the Litterati app. The goal was to remove 2,500 items of trash from our waterways, collectively, across the country. Our Executive Director visited the Maumee River to remove 17 items of trash from our waterways. While our Communications Specialist went alongside a ditch and removed 45 items - mostly Styrofoam and construction materials.

During these experiences, we explored ways to improve our waterways, and we had the chance to reflect on and celebrate our accomplishments in recent years. Throughout the conference, we networked and shared stories with groups from small watersheds to national organizations working to protect their waterways. We realized that although we have a lot of wonderful projects happening here, more can be done to help make our abundant water resources central to our community’s identity.

Currents: June 2021

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Save the Date for CYS 25!

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