Currents | March 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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March 2023

Three images side-by-side. From left: anglers participating in the Walleye Run. A walleye fish caught on a line. A tangle of fishing line removed from a Partners for Clean Streams recycling bin.The Walleye Run is coming soon! Signs of spring bring thousands of people to fish our beautiful Maumee River. Adopting a fishing line recycling bin or using one while you’re fishing plays an important part in keeping our waterways free from marine debris.

Why does recycling fishing line matter? Discarded fishing line has become a serious issue in waterways around Northwest Ohio. Thin, hard-to-see plastic line creates a risk for animal entanglement. It gets caught on roots and riverbanks, and colorful lures are sometimes mistaken as food by other animals. Tangled fishing line, hooks, and lures damage aesthetics, recreation opportunities, and community pride in our waterways.

If you’re an angler yourself, it’s easy to use fishing line recycling bins. Check our interactive map for the closest bin to your favorite fishing spot. While you fish, store your broken or excess line in a bag, bucket, waders, or one of our “Stow It – Don’t Throw It” containers. Once you’re ready to go, stop by the recycling bin you located and simply deposit your line inside. The bin’s host will periodically clean out the line.

Not an angler, but still want to help out the Maumee River? Consider volunteering to adopt a bin. You’ll be responsible for collecting fishing line from your chosen bin and logging how much line you remove. You also have the option to sponsor a bin by emailing your completed form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can make a gift via PayPal (preferred) or with a check mailed to our P.O. Box.

Volunteers from BGSU put tangled fishing line into a bucket to be recycled.We work year-round to protect our waterways that feed into Lake Erie. If you’re new to what we do or want a refresher, read on for a seasonal summary of programs YOU can join! We’re also giving a virtual talk on marine debris, March 21 at 7pm. Register here.


Clean Your Streams 365: These waterway clean-ups can be done anytime during the year, either on your own or in a small group. Pick a date, time, and waterway site, and we’ll loan you the supplies you’ll need. If you want to try a CYS 365 in the winter, we compiled some tips to help make your cold-weather clean-up a success.


Virtual Talk: Removing and Preventing NW Ohio Marine Debris: March 21, 7-8pm. We know that marine debris is a solvable problem, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. PCS will host a virtual talk focused on NW Ohio’s local waterway trash: how we remove it, and how we prevent it from reaching our water in the first place. If you’re new to our programs or it’s been awhile since you volunteered, this is a great opportunity to learn how to get involved. Register here to receive a virtual meeting link in your confirmation email.

Glass City Marathon: Our “Green Team” works to recycle thousands of pounds plastic, cardboard, aluminum, and glass, diverting waste away from landfills and rivers to make one of Toledo’s biggest events more sustainable. Sign-up here to volunteer on April 21-23.

Fishing Line Recycling Bins: Currently, we have over 30 fishing line recycling bins distributed at fishing hot spots across the greater Toledo area. PCS collects the fishing line, cleans it, and sends it into Berkley Conservation Institute to be recycled. This program reduces the amount of fishing line that ends up in our rivers, entangling wildlife and remaining in the ecosystem for over 600 years. You can sponsor, adopt, or host a bin!


Clean Your Streams 365 Paddles: We work with our partners at Metroparks Toledo and Wood County Parks to offer public kayak and canoe paddle cleanups out to Maumee River islands. Check our calendar beginning in May for dates and registration for summer paddle-clean-ups.

Get the Lead Out: These shoreline clean-ups target fishing line, lead, and lures that get left behind during the Walleye and White Bass runs during the spring. Volunteers scour the banks of the Maumee River to remove fishing debris and help ensure that our waterways are healthy for the fish that live in them and the people that enjoy recreating in and near them. PCS typically schedules GLOs during July and August.


27th Annual Clean Your Streams: Our largest annual program has continued to grow for over two decades. Last year, 652 volunteers spread out to 62 clean-up sites and removed 13,594 pounds of marine debris from local waterways. This is an excellent way for youth groups, schools, businesses, and families to have a positive impact on our community and environment while having fun. Registration will open in August for this late September program. Consider sponsoring Clean Your Streams Day to show your dedication to improving water quality in our area.


Storm Drain Marking: Our Storm Drain Marking program connects municipalities, citizens, and active volunteers to protect our drinking water. Volunteers mark storm drains to indicate "Drains are for Rain, Flows to Waterway" with stencils or adhesive medallions and pass out educational materials in local neighborhoods. This program runs April – October; contact us if you’re interested in setting up a storm drain marking session.

A lawn of native, pollinator-friendly flowers.Find out how you can save time and money while making your lawn healthier and protecting our local waterways. We’ve compiled tips from our Give Water A Hand campaign on lawn planting and fertilizing, to help you keep your yard beautiful and river-friendly.

The Right Seed

• Starting off with the right mix of seed will ensure the most success in establishing and maintaining your lawn, while minimizing time and effort. The best lawn seed for Northwest Ohio will contain turf-type Tall Fescues and Perennial Rye grasses. These grass mixes are drought resistant and are well suited to our soil types. Although it is popular, Kentucky Bluegrass requires lots of water and sun, which means more time and more money for you.

• Make your lawn only as big as you need it. A smaller lawn requires less time to mow and less money to maintain. Plant native trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers to landscape the rest of your yard. Toledo’s Rain Garden Initiative offers online resources for buying and gardening with Northwest Ohio native plants.

Fertilize Carefully

• Fertilize lawns in the springtime when the ground temperature gets around 55 degrees. Fertilizing right before it rains may seem like a good idea, but the fertilizer will not have time to soak into the soil and will wash off, wasting your money as it flows into local rivers or ditches, often through storm drains. Instead, apply fertilizer a day or two after your lawn is watered, whether that’s from the rain or from a sprinkler.

• Grass clippings and mulched leaves are the ideal food source for your lawn, naturally providing essential nutrients slowly over time. The clippings supply nitrogen that your lawn needs to stay healthy. Grasses need sufficient nitrogen to promote top growth, phosphorus for root development (mostly needed for newly lawns, not established lawns), and potassium for strong stems and disease resistance. Fertilizers have three numbers such as 10-10-10 or 34-3-4. These numbers indicate the percentage of nitrogen (the first number), phosphorus (the middle number), and potassium (the last number.) Plenty of fertilizers for established lawns are phosphorous-free, which is a good choice to protect waterways from excess nutrients.

• Use slow-release fertilizers on sandy soils, to ensure that concentrated amounts of nutrients are not available for leaching out of the soil. Use fast release fertilizers on heavy, clay or compacted soils – the longer a fertilizer granule remains undissolved in these conditions, the greater the chance of being washed into waterways.

• Grass clippings do not cause thatch. Thatch is made up of both dead and living root, stem, and leaf parts that are resistant to decay. Kentucky Bluegrass and Creeping Bentgrass produce the most thatch. Turf-type Tall Fescues and Perennial Rye grasses do not produce thatch. Excessive fertilization and watering may encourage thatch. If you leave your clippings on the lawn, you may not have to spend as much, or anything, on fertilizer!

• Find out exactly what nutrients your lawn needs by having the soil tested. Your local Soil and Water Conservation District (probably Lucas, Wood, or Ottawa) or OSU Extension Office can help.


For more information on how to start and maintain a river-friendly lawn, including advice on watering and mowing, check out our full Give Water a Hand Lawn Care Tip Card.

Kris Patterson stands beside a mountain of 2022 Glass City Marathon cups and pizza boxes ready to be composted.We need your help preventing marine debris at the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon. Sign-ups are now open for April 21-23. We’re partnering with Keep Toledo-Lucas County Beautiful to coordinate the “Green Team,” where the winner is always the Ottawa River.

Many Green Team volunteer slots are in the mornings; early birds, this is your time to shine! Check out Green Team opportunities on the marathon weekend volunteer page. Register by March 17 for a free t-shirt! If none of these volunteer slots work for you or your group but you’d still like to help out, feel free to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know you’re interested.

Most of PCS and KTLCB’s work on the Green Team is behind-the-scenes, leading up to the fast-paced weekend. Alongside runners, volunteers work hard to divert marine debris from the Ottawa River. In past years, over the course of a single race weekend, the Green Team often recycles around 3,000 pounds of cardboard, glass, aluminum, plastic, heat sheets, energy packs, and more!

If you are running on race weekend or you want to support a runner in your life, please consider donating to support PCS as a charity partner. We’re proud to support healthy runners and healthy rivers.

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