Currents | July 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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GettoKnowMircoplasticsMicroplastics are plastics that are less than 5 mm in size and a lot about them is unknown. Research has shown that microplastics can cause physical harm to wildlife when ingested. Microplastics can absorb other chemicals such as trace metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides, and some pathogens. Initial research has also suggested that plastic additives can contribute to disruption in the endocrine system and possibly cancer. Currently, there are five types categorized by the USGS: fibers, foam, fragments, beads/pellets, and film. After a study of microplastics in the Great Lakes Region published in 2016 from USGS, they found that fibers were the most commonly found microplastic in the Maumee and Portage Rivers.

These little strings of plastic come from some surprising sources, our synthetic clothes, diapers, and cigarettes. When we wash our synthetic clothes, the synthetic fibers break off our clothing, slip past the water treatment plants, and end up right in our water. Unbeknown to most smokers, cigarettes are made of plastic fibers. When cigarettes are thrown on the ground and start to “break down” the fibers can break off and enter our waterways.  

Help reduce the fibers by trying one of these tips from Huron River Watershed Council. Some helpful tips included:

  • Looking for a filter for your washing machine
  • Use laundry devices that capture microfibers
  • Buy less synthetic clothing

And you can always join us on a clean-up to remove cigarette butts and clothing from our waterways before the fibers start to break off! Sign- up here

Currents: July 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