Clean Your Streams Day

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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Clean Your Streams

2022 October Header 1For twenty-six years, we’ve been amazed by our volunteers’ determined water stewardship during Clean Your Streams Day. 2022 was no exception! Partners for Clean Streams is proud to present the results of their efforts in sites cleaned, pounds of marine debris removed, and river miles covered.


Remote Kickoff

After the success of our clean-on-your-own Remote Kickoff in 2020 and 2021, we knew we wanted to bring back this participation option in 2022. Volunteers chose a time and location during the week leading up to Clean Your Streams Day, submitted liability forms, then shared data and pictures following their clean-ups. The Remote Kickoff allow us to expand the geographic impact of our program. This year, we had groups clean up sites in Port Clinton, Bowling Green, Roche de Boeuf, and even in Hudson, Ohio near Cuyahoga Valley National Park! We also had two groups clean-up via watercraft: Toledo Environmental Services (Maumee River near Imagination Station) and Heritage Environmental Services (Maumee River and Grassy Creek.)

  • Volunteers: 111
  • Sites cleaned: 21
  • Pounds of marine debris removed: 2,089.6
  • River miles covered: 13.80

In-Person Kickoffs

On September 24, 2022, in-person volunteers arrived at one of eight kickoff locations around Northwest Ohio. From there, groups were assigned a waterway site where they spent the morning removing marine debris and tabulating data on the items they removed. Afterword, many volunteers attended our Clean Your Streams Volunteer Appreciation Picnic and enjoyed free food, education stations, door and raffle prizes, and more.

  • Volunteers: 541
  • Sites cleaned: 41
  • Pounds of marine debris removed: 11,504.9
  • River miles: 15.44

Total Impact

  • Volunteers: 652
  • Sites cleaned: 62
  • Pounds of marine debris removed: 13,594.5
  • River miles: 29.24

Clean Your Streams (CYS) is the largest single-day watershed clean-up in Northwest Ohio, as well as the largest clean-up in Ohio that contributes marine debris data to the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) database. Volunteers have an impact on watersheds around our region, including the Maumee River, Ottawa River, Swan Creek, and Maumee Bay tributaries. Thank you to all 652 volunteers that helped remove nearly seven tons of misplaced trash in and around our local rivers.

To date, more than 382,000 pounds of marine debris have been removed from area waterways by over 15,500 volunteers. Among many strange finds this year, volunteers discovered a crashed drone, a rubber ducky with a rainbow unicorn mane, a fire extinguisher, plastic succulent plants, a pregnancy test, three e-bikes, and ninety-four tires! Like last year, the #1 most commonly found item was food wrappers, with over 8000 removed.

Explore our photo gallery from the 26th Annual Clean Your Streams to see volunteers having fun and making a difference!



26th Annual Clean Your Streams Challenge Competitions


Youth Challenge Awards
Youth groups submitted their data at the post-clean-up volunteer appreciation picnic and winners were annouced later that afternoon.

Most Volunteers: Awarded to the groups with the most CYS volunteers
1st    Toledo Early College High School (102 volunteers)
2nd   BSA Troop 66 (24)
3rd    Whitmer Science and Environmental Club (17)

Awesome Effort: Awarded to the groups with the greatest number of full bags per person
1st    Toledo ZOOTeens
2nd   BSA Troop 66 
3rd    BSA Troop 62

Battle of the Bags: Awarded to the groups who fill the greatest number of total trash bags
1st    Toledo Early College High School
2nd   Toledo ZOOTeens
3rd    BSA Troop 66

Thank you to all the other participating youth groups: BSA Troop 200, Genoa-Penta FFA, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Troop 11095, Rogers High School students, and Toledo FFA.

Collegiate Challenge Awards
This year, collegiate challenge awards were calculated after Clean Your Streams Day via submitted data cards, rather than through challenge entry forms submitted at the picnic. Many thanks to the groups who clearly labeled their data cards with their group names and gave contact information. It turned out to be another Battle of I-75!

Most Volunteers: Awarded to the groups with the most CYS volunteers
1st    UT Environmental Law Society (23 volunteers)
2nd   UT Engineering Council (UTEC) partnering with UT Clean Water for the World (17)
3rd    UT Phi Sigma Rho (12)

Awesome Effort: Awarded to the groups that find the most food wrappers*
1st    UT Environmental Law Society
2nd   UT Engineering Council (UTEC) partnering with UT Clean Water for the World
3rd    UT Phi Sigma Rho

Battle of the Bags: Awarded to the groups with the greatest trash weight
1st    UT Environmental Law Society
2nd   BGSU Thopson Scholars
3rd    UT Phi Sigma Rho

* Food wrappers have recently surpassed cigarette butts as the #1 item removed by our volunteers on CYS Day, so we’re highlighting it through this challenge.

Collegiate Strangest Find Photo Contest Winners:

"Plant Pants 1" Photo by Zach Hayes"Plant Pants 2" Photo by Zach Hayes

“Plant Pants”
BGSU Campus Sustainability Team
Photo provided by Zach Hayes

"Sterling Field Toilet" Photo provided by Tim Niederkorn"Sterling Field Toilet" Photo provided by Leonardo Menchaca

“Sterling Field Toilet”
UT Alpha Psi Lambda + Other UT Kickoff Volunteers
Photos provided by Tim Niederkorn and Leonardo Menchaca

Photo Challenges for All

All Groups Best-Before-And-After Photo:

"Jermain Park Pond Before" Photo provided by Jeff MacKenzie"Jermain Park Pond After" Photo provided by Jeff MacKenzie

"Jermain Park Pond Before-and-After"
Whitmer Science and Environmental Club
Photo provided by Jeff MacKenzie

All Groups Strangest Find Photo:

"Tiki Torch and Greek Letters" Photo provided by Brooke Kern 

"Tiki Torch and Greek Letters"
Whitmer Science and Environmental Club
Photo provided by Brooke Kern

River Partner Certification
River Partner Certification recognizes businesses, nonprofits, agencies, and other civic groups who let us know they brought volunteer groups to Clean Your Streams.

River Guardian (30-49 volunteers)

  • First Solar, Inc.

Stream Protector (10-29 volunteers)

  • Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
  • Monroe Street UMC
  • NSG Glass North America
  • Ohio EPA Northwest District Office
  • Toledo Division of Environmental Services
  • Verdantas

Creek Crusader (1-9 volunteers)

  • Heritage Environmental Services
  • Jones & Henry Engineers

Help Support Clean Streams!

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