Currents | October 2022

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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A volunteer removing marine debris with a grabber.Are you feeling inspired by the awesome impact made during Clean Your Streams Day? You can plan your own waterway clean-up at a time and location of your choosing through our Clean Your Streams 365 program. We’ve got tips to help you get started and to make your clean-up a success.

Clean Your Streams 365 is a year-round effort for clearer, cleaner waterways. Volunteers choose their own time and location to remove marine debris. These clean-ups can be PCS staff or board member-led, or you can choose to clean-on-your-own. In either case, we will provide all clean-up supplies, including gloves, trash bags, grabbers, and data cards to record the marine debris you remove. Once you complete the online registration form, our staff will connect with you to begin making arrangements.

Any public waterway spot where you notice trash is a good candidate for a clean-up, but feel free to ask us if you’d like some site recommendations in your area. We maintain a site master list and may have some insider information on which sites have been tackled recently or could use some extra attention.

Be mindful of waterway conditions as you plan your clean-up. Autumn leaves can bury trash, but once the leaves fall, you may have access to areas that are too brushy to clean in warmer months. Although colder weather reduces your chance of insect encounters, remember that poison ivy is still active at this time of year. The safety tips covered during our Clean Your Streams Site Captain Training will be a helpful starting point if you’ve never planned your own waterway clean-up before.

Tracking the items you remove during your clean-up allows your impact to go beyond one-time trash removal. Our volunteers record clean-up data to compare marine debris from site-to-site and year-to-year, and to share our results with other organizations, government agencies, and companies. We request you record data for your clean-up. You have the option to either use a printed data card and email a copy to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or use the Clean Swell app. Clean Swell lets you track the marine debris on your smart phone with a simple tap of a tile. The app records the amount of trash you have removed, estimates pounds of trash, and tracks your total distance cleaned. We put together a detailed guide for using Clean Swell that also addresses some frequently asked questions – find it here.

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