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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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.

January 2022

Microplastics: Beads/Pellets. Image source: National Geographic.Microplastics are plastics that are less than 5 mm in size. The full extent of their effects on the environment has yet to be studied. However, 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 foam microplastics were the least present microplastic found in the Maumee and Portage Rivers.

Beads and pellets find their way to waterways by shipping containers spilling plastic bead or pellets on their way to be melted down into plastic materials, like our water bottles or plastic bags. Though, it might not be a big problem to us locally, every day substitutes to reduce plastic usage can help waterways around the world.   Trying these simple swaps can help reduce the demand for plastics:

  • Use a reusable straw when you go out to eat.
  • Bring re-usable bags to the grocery store.
  • Buy items in bulk and limit the amount of single-use items you purchase.
  • Use refillable water bottles and coffee cups.
  • Bring your own cutlery to work for lunch.
  • Use glass containers for storing leftovers.
  • Choose glass over plastic bottled beverages.
  • Invest in a compost bin to eliminate the amount of plastic trash bags needed.

Jamie Kochensparger wins Annual Award for Stewardship and InvolvementPCS offers our warmest congratulations to Jamie Kochensparger, the 2021 winner of PCS’s Annual Award for Environmental Stewardship and Involvement. Jamie has worked as a Lake Erie watershed steward for more than 30 years across multiple organizations. How did Jamie go from hosting a weekly live radio show on outdoor news, to becoming the Education and Outreach Director for the Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District?

Jamie earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Policy & Analysis with an emphasis in Environmental Education from Bowling Green State University.

  • As a Naturalist/Ranger for the Sandusky County Parks, she created the WOW! Women’s Outdoor Workshop to provide outdoor skills opportunities and promote Leave No Trace principles. She provided weekly outdoor news columns for the Fremont News-Messenger and weekly live radio shows for Fremont 99.1FM, which led to nomination to and acceptance into the professional organization Outdoor Writers of Ohio and subsequent service as Board Member, Vice President and Editor of the newsletter LORE.
  • As Public Information Specialist for the Lake Erie Commission, she served as state coordinator for Ohio’s Coastweeks and the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

Currently, Jamie works as the Education and Outreach Director for Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District. In this role, she designs and facilitates environmental education programs for students of all ages, from preschools to senior centers! Since she started with the SWCD in 2003, Jamie has increased annual programs from 55 to more than 150, and reaches thousands of Lucas County residents with her programs. She was named Outstanding Area 1 Soil & Water District Employee in 2007.

She has partnered with the Maumee RAP and PCS on a number of educational initiatives, including Give Water A Hand, the Partnering for Clean Streams Patch Day Program, and Water Quality Cruises. She has collaborated with partners to develop a curriculum for a Junior Watershed Academy and is working with us on education and stewardship to support Toledo Public Schools students while on the Sandpiper and in the classroom, under a grant from NOAA and the UT Lake Erie Center. Jamie is a consummate educator who continues to have a lasting positive impact on our watersheds and the residents within them.


Schedule a Speaking EngagementDuring cold months when we host fewer watershed clean-ups, Partners for Clean Streams staff are proud to offer presentations and speaking engagements. 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. for more information.

Topics include:

  • PCS programs. What volunteer programs does PCS offer throughout the year? How do we measure our volunteers’ positive impact? What opportunities are available specifically for youth?
  • Marine debris. 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 Maumee Area of Concern (AOC). What is an AOC? Why is the Maumee River important to the Great Lakes? What’s being done to enhance the habitat and wildlife areas here?


Amy Boros and Randy Nissen are the newest members of PCS' Board of DirectorsAt our Annual General Meeting on December 15, PCS members re-elected three returning Board members, as well as two new members. Thank you to Joan King, Denise Fonner, Bill Buri, and Marilyn DuFour for continuing your existing terms! Congratulations to returning Board members Bob Neubert, Andrew Curran, and Chris Smalley. We’re excited to introduce our two new members: Amy Boros and Randy Nissen.

Amy Boros is a science educator with Perrysburg Schools with more than 25 years in the classroom. She is an Environmental Club advisor at Hull Prairie Intermediate School, as well as a certified Great Lakes Educator. We are especially grateful for her experience with grant writing and program management. Amy has been a Clean Your Streams volunteer for several years, and particularly enjoys the opportunity to go out on kayak clean-ups.

Randy Nissen was selected as the 2020 winner of the PCS Annual Award for Environmental Stewardship and Involvement. With roots the Toledo area, Randy recently retired from a 35-year teaching career in Toledo Public Schools. Randy has been involved with Clean Your Streams Day for over a decade, particularly as a driving force behind Toledo Early College High School (TECHS)’ involvement in CYS. For the past few years, TECHS students have been the largest single group that participates in CYS, bringing over 100 volunteers annually.


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