Currents | December 2023

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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December 2023

2023 November HeaderWhat are we celebrating from 2023?

• The successful first water quality monitoring season for Community Water Action in Toledo (CWAT). This regional partnership engaged more than 60 volunteers in over 100 sampling events across 18 sampling sites on three rivers, collecting important citizen science data. More on CWAT.
• Creating educational website content and coordinating region-wide social media efforts for four Lake Erie Starts Here campaign seasonal themes: road salt, fertilizer, marine debris and Clean Your Streams, and autumn leaves. More on Lake Erie Starts Here.
• The most storm drain marking volunteers since 2016. This program engaged 118 volunteers, who marked 1,340 catch basins and distributed 4,074 educational door tags.
• The biggest Clean Your Streams since pre-pandemic times, with 723 volunteers who removed 14,957 pounds of marine debris. More on CYS 27.
• The removal of Beneficial Use Impairment 11: Degradation of Aesthetics from the Maumee Area of Concern and launched a new website for the Maumee Area of Concern.

What are we looking forward to in 2024?

• Building on the strong foundation laid by CWAT’s first season and opening a brand-new public volunteer program: water quality monitoring.
• Continuing to expand our water quality education projects, storm water education, and communication campaigns with the help of local partners.
• Continuing the trend of growing our volunteer numbers in our marine debris prevention and removal programs.
• Revamping our 10+ year old website to better share the story of our past success and reflect our aspirations for the future.

Our successes and opportunities for growth are only possible through the generosity of our donors, volunteers, and community partners. Please make PCS a part of your holiday giving. You can donate through Facebook or Instagram, donate using our secure website, or send a check to PO Box 203 Perrysburg, OH 43552.

Thank you for keeping Current with us in 2023. We’ll see you again in 2024!

StewardshipHoliday shopping, wrapping, and gifting oh my! So what can you do with the environment in mind?

There’s always the usual tips – like using reusable bags when you go out shopping but there’s also some more creative ones that we’ve come across lately.

For instance, did you know that most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable? And since most of us aren’t getting the “funnies” anymore to wrap things in, you could cut paper bags to fit and decorate it in your own personal style. Or look for places to pick up recyclable wrapping paper. Keep Toledo Lucas County Beautiful is selling 100% recyclable wrapping paper (just take those bows and ribbons off!) at various places.

One of those locations is 577 Foundation and in their Curiosity Shop you’ll also find gently-used books, yarns, art supplies, hand-made pottery and more. Reduce your impact on the environment by buying local, gently used items that are in great condition or sometimes just re-gifted, not open or used at all.

Local non-profits also often have merchandise or products (hint: Black Swamp Conservancy and ToledoGrows) that could be a special gift that reflects a cause near and dear to someone and supports the non-profit as well – double benefit! We especially like reusable water bottles, mugs, and cotton bags from local organizations!

And once the packages are open, don’t forget to recycle the cardboard and even the foam packaging. Watch for foam drop-off locations from KTLCB.


EducationEarlier this year, the Maumee AOC achieved a major milestone: BUI 11, Degradation of Aesthetics, was removed! We’re offering a refresher on what we do as facilitating organization, what this removal means, and why it matters.

The Maumee AOC Advisory Committee (MAAC) works for fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waters within the Maumee AOC through restoration projects, public education, collaboration with partners, and volunteer opportunities through its facilitating organization, Partners for Clean Streams. Part of our job is to report out on restoration project progress and major milestones in our AOC, like BUI removal! (For the full story of the Maumee AOC’s origins, check out About Our AOC.)

The Maumee Area of Concern (AOC) covers 787 square miles in the greater Toledo area of Northwest Ohio. There’s more to the Maumee AOC than just the lower Maumee River. Six different watersheds make up the AOC, plus part of Maumee Bay. These watersheds include over 1900 miles of streams and 45 miles of Lake Erie shoreline.

The Maumee AOC was given a report card of beneficial use impairments (BUIs): ways of measuring environmental damage. Some example BUIs include “Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption,” “Beach Closings” or “Degradation of Aesthetics.” Once restoration criteria are met, a BUI can be removed. And once all BUIs are removed from an AOC, it can be delisted – the end goal of all AOCs.

What does it mean that BUI 11: Degradation of Aesthetics was removed for our AOC this year?

This BUI refers to the appearance or odor of a body of water, which can have significant effects on local communities. Aesthetic conditions in our AOC have improved over the last 30 years as a result of reducing sources of oil, grease, and trash through clean-up of contaminated waterways. One of the most recent clean-ups was the removal of contaminated sediment in Otter Creek. Trash cleanups will continue as will some additional contaminated sediment removals but overall, the AOC is significantly better aesthetically than it was in 1987.

Mike Pniewski, Maumee AOC Advisory Committee chair, was quoted in an article from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. “The removal is the result of the significant teamwork of project partners, restoration advocates, local governments, Ohio EPA, and U.S. EPA. We look forward to the continued work from all our stakeholders in the future delisting of the Maumee AOC.”

BUI 11 is the third beneficial use impairment to be removed among the initial 10 BUIs identified as impaired in the Maumee AOC. The first was BUI 12: Added Costs to Agriculture or Industry (removed in 2015) and the second was BUI 1: Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption (removed in 2022).



PartnershipCongratulations to Marilyn Lodge, dedicated Clean Your Streams volunteer and the recipient of our annual Environmental Stewardship & Involvement award. Ms. Lodge is a quiet, but persistent, force behind the huge volunteer breakfast and many raffle prizes for CYS Day!

Marilyn Lodge started volunteering for the Ottawa River kickoff even before it was held at Monroe Street United Methodist Church, in 2006 (we think). She quickly became invaluable to Marilyn DuFour (sometimes affectionally called the “other” Marilyn) behind-the-scenes for breakfast. She rallied some more help for breakfast and it grew and grew. Within a few years, she got wind of raffle prizes being needed for the CYS picnic and well, those prizes started pouring in. Marilyn DuFour would let us know that there were some little things coming from Marilyn Lodge and sure enough, lots of gift cards, gift baskets, and coupons showed up. After a few years, our staff started looking forward to what would show up and wondered who this persistent lady was (and we appreciated the help as asking for donations is harder than you think!). Kris managed to say “hi and thank you” most years when Marilyn would drop off “leftover” breakfast foods at the picnic but 2023 was the first year that Marilyn Lodge got to see the excitement for the foods & prizes firsthand when she helped distribute those to volunteers.

Marilyn Lodge exemplifies how many people it takes to quietly work behind-the-scenes to pull off a huge program like Clean Your Streams. Often times we don’t even get to thank them directly but this thanks and recognition is long overdue. So if you’ve ever won a prize, had some home-made breads, fancy donuts, or hard-boiled eggs at the Monroe St breakfast or picnic, then thank Marilyn Lodge (if you can ever get her to pause for a minute!).


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