Currents | February 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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February 2023

A photo of Tenmile Creek at Lathrop Park showing eroding, undercut streambanks.

Update March 21, 2023 — Lathrop Park RFP FAQ Available Here

February 24, 2023 — Partners for Clean Streams is seeking proposals for a Design/Build contractor(s) for a stream restoration project in Berkey, Ohio at Lathrop Park along Tenmile Creek. The project will begin with design in May 2023 and continue through construction and post-monitoring completed before Oct 1, 2025. Interested bidders should prepare a Design-Build proposal that meets the request as outlined in the attachment for a not-to-exceed total of up to $350,000.

Please see the RFP linked here for the full instructions and forms.  

Proposals are due by 11pm March 26th and should be sent electronically to [email protected]partnersforcleanstreams.org

Kayla Kirkpatrick and Liv Simkins Bullock tabling at Naturally OregonFest in May 2022.Update: You're invited to our upcoming virtual talk on Tuesday, March 21, 7-8pm. Visit bit.ly/PCSRegister_TrashTalk for more information and to register.

Throughout the year, Partners for Clean Streams staff are proud to offer educational presentations and speaking engagements, either virtually or in-person. Looking for a speaker for your club, organization, youth group, or college class? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Topics include:

• PCS Programs - What volunteer programs do we offer throughout the year? How do we measure our volunteers’ positive impact? What opportunities are available for youth or for seniors?

• Marine Debris 101 - What is marine debris? What’s the marine debris profile of our area waterways? How is our local debris similar or different to ocean debris? How can you help remove and prevent marine debris in your daily life?

• The Importance of Stormwater – We all have waterfront property – learn how our storm drains directly connect to local waterways, and why that matters. What are the biggest stormwater pollutants in our region? How can we take care of our lawns and homes to best protect our waterways.

• The Maumee Area of Concern (AOC) – What is a Great Lakes AOC? How do AOCs measure environmental harm and improvement via “beneficial use impairments”? What’s being done to enhance wildlife and aquatic habitat in our region?

Volunteers from UT's Phi Sigma Rho sorority at an Ottawa River CYS 365 in early April 2022. If you’re willing to brave a bit of cold, marine debris clean-ups can be a great cure for cabin fever. Plenty of trash is easier to spot and remove before bushes and underbrush fill out. Check out our tips for successful Clean Your Streams 365 clean-ups in wintertime.

How to have a safe and impactful wintertime waterway clean-up:

• Layering gloves can make a big difference to protect yourself both from the cold and from trash you remove. Try wearing a warm layer closest to your skin, and a waterproof and/or cut-resistant layer above like oversized dish gloves or thick gardening gloves. If you’re borrowing a waterway clean-up supply kit from us, we have great options to try!

• Be careful to stay dry when the temperature is near or below-freezing. Choose sites that don’t take you too close to frozen or slushy waterways. Instead, we encourage you to focus on sites on dry land that might be less accessible in a different season, like an area with thick underbrush. Remember you can always contact us for site suggestions.

• Make a plan for how you’ll dispose of trash before you start your clean-up. You don’t want to be wandering around in the cold looking for a trash can at your local park.

• Pick your favorite data recording method. If you have touch-screen gloves, the Clean Swell app is a great, simple option. (See our Clean Swell How-To Guide.) Otherwise, recording using paper data cards is a tried-and-true method. (Print your own or pick up data cards as part of your supply kit.) Pencils work better than pens in the cold.

Remember that in any season, you can contact us to borrow a supply kit! Our staff prefers a minimum of two weeks’ notice to prep supplies and coordinate pickup with you, and we ask that you bring supplies back within a week of your clean-up.

A photo of a lake at Manhattan Marsh Preserve Metropark with pink flowers.February 2 is World Wetlands Day. Did you know Northwest Ohio was once home to 1,500 square miles of wetlands? Wetlands improve water quality, control erosion, store floodwater, plus they're biodiversity hotspots. Learn more about wetlands’ past, present, and future in our region.

Across Ohio, only 10% of our once-abundant wetland habitat remains. In pre-industrial times, Northwest Ohio was home to the Great Black Swamp, a vast stretch of wetlands and woodlands that housed a wide variety of plants and animals. As more European settlers arrived in the region, they began to drain the swamp to make the land more suitable for agriculture. While this resulted in some of the most productive farmland in the country, it came at the expense of our region’s wetlands.

However, wetland habitat still remains in our area, both original and restored. You can find wetlands coastal areas along Lake Erie, including birding hotspots like Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and Maumee Bay State Park, as well as farther inland in the wet prairies of Oak Openings. Wetland restoration projects like the Penn 7 Maumee River Habitat and the Sandhill Crane Wetlands at Kitty Todd Preserve paint a hopeful picture for the future of wetlands in Northwest Ohio.

This World Wetlands Day, what are we celebrating? A lot! Wetlands act as storage facilities for water during and after large rain events, helping to prevent flood damage and erosion. They are capable of absorbing and holding substantial amounts of water, and then slowly release it over time. Wetlands also act as natural filters for the water that enters their systems. As water is retained in the wetland, suspended sediments are able to drop out and nutrients, such as those coming from fertilizer, are consumed by plants and microorganisms. Eventually, the water is released into the ground below or into a nearby waterway, with better water quality than when it entered the wetland.  Wetlands are also extremely productive biologically, acting as homes for many different plants, as well as insects, frogs, turtles, fish, mammals, and as important stopovers for migratory birds.

Logo for the workplace giving foundation Community Shares Northwest Ohio over a winter river scene.For ten years, Partners for Clean Streams has been a member organization with Northwest Ohio Community Shares, a workplace giving federation that connects employees to local nonprofits. You can encourage your workplace to join and support the local community.

Founded in 1997, Northwest Ohio Community Shares (NOCS) is our region’s only workplace giving federation with a focus on social justice, health and human services, animal welfare, the arts and the environment. NOCS generates essential operating funds for nonprofit organizations that are working for positive change.

Your company or agency may already participate in this workplace giving program. Check NOCS’s workplace partners list here. If so, choosing to donate to Partners for Clean Streams is a wonderful way to make sustaining gifts that fund our programs and projects.

Employees can choose to donate in several ways: through payroll deduction if your HR department participates or with cash, check, credit/debit card. Whether your workplace does payroll in-house or sends it to an outside processor, implementing automatic deductions for charities is a simple process that requires no more time than implementing any other deduction. NOCS can also help facilitate employee/employer gift-matching campaigns.

If you’re new to workplace giving, we encourage you to ask your HR and/or payroll department to connect with Northwest Ohio Community Shares, or get started by checking out NOCS’s resources page for interested partners.

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