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 27 years, we’ve been amazed by our volunteers’ determined water stewardship during Clean Your Streams. We’re proud to present their results with a full breakdown of the citizen science data collected this year.

Clean Your Streams is a watershed clean-up program where volunteers remove trash and record citizen science data on the items they collect. CYS is the largest cleanup in Ohio that contributes marine debris data to the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) database. Volunteers impact watersheds across our region, including the Ottawa River, Swan Creek, Maumee River, and Maumee Bay tributaries. Over the past 27 years of CYS, more than 16,250 volunteers have removed approximately 397,600 pounds of marine debris.

Like the last few years, the most frequently removed items from Northwest Ohio’s waterways were #1 food wrappers, #2 cigarette butts, and #3 plastic beverage bottles. Unusual finds this year included a message in a bottle, turtle-shaped sandbox, hot tub cover, bar stool, bowling ball, coffee table, plastic Christmas tree, and, puzzlingly, an inner tube full of bricks.

Total Impact of Remote and In-Person Kickoffs

Volunteers: 723
Sites cleaned: 70
Pounds of marine debris removed: 14,957
River miles: 37

Check out our full CYS 27 Fact Sheet and downloadable Infographic for more photos and information!

Photo Challenge Winners

We received so many incredible submissions this year for “Strangest Find” photos that we couldn’t pick just one favorite!

1st Place “Sloth Hanging Out” – Side Cut Kickoff site, photo by Gene Liegel

Side Cut Kickoff Sloth Hanging Out Gene Liegel

2nd Place “Couch Cushions from the Ottawa River” – Monroe St. UMC Kickoff site, photo by Jess Soffee

Monroe Street UMC Kickoff Couch Cushions from Ottawa River Credit Jess Soffee

3rd Place “Bowling Ball” – Side Cut Kickoff site, photo by Andrea Beach

Side Cut Bowling Ball Troop 66 Andrea Beach

Collegiate Winner – “Bike and Shopping Cart” – UT Kickoff site – from University of Toledo Environmental Law Society

Collegiate Winner UT Environmental Club

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) - The Andersons, Inc.

Stream Protector (10-29 volunteers) - Civil & Environmental Consultants, First Solar, Heritage Environmental Services, NSG Glass North America, Ohio EPA, Toledo Department of Public Utilities, Toledo FFA, Verdantas

Creek Crusader (1-9 volunteers) – Arcadis, Fort Industry Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, Lowes, Racing for Recovery, U.S. Coast Guard, Vacation Daze with Cassie

Youth Challenge Awards

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

Most Volunteers: Awarded to the groups with the most CYS volunteers
1st    Toledo Early College High School (92 volunteers)
2nd   Northwood Pack 244 (35)
3rd    BSA Troop 66 (25)

Awesome Effort: Awarded to the groups with the greatest number of full bags per person
1st    Whitmer Science and Environmental Club
2nd   BSA Troop 66
3rd    BSA Pack 214

Bonus: Tire Champions. Special acknowledgement goes to the Toledo ZOOTeens, who removed an astounding 33 tires during their clean-up!

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

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