What is 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 Day is an annual event hosted by Partners For Clean Streams (with help from many partners) where over one thousand volunteers join forces to clean up tons of trash from over 60 sites in rivers in the greater Toledo area. During the event, we clean trash from the river, educate our volunteers on marine debris, and celebrate our local, abundant rivers. We focus on high profile, high impact sites in need of cleaning. We hope that through Clean Your Streams, citizens take greater pride in their community and rivers, and become environmental stewards. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about Clean Your Streams:

What day is it?

CYS 24 will be held on Saturday, September 26th, 2020.

What time does it start and end?

You will meet at your assigned kickoff location between 8 and 8:30 A.M. The cleanup projects officially begin at 8:30 A.M. and ends at 12 P.M. Afterwards many people stay for an Appreciation Picnic that ends around 2 P.M.

How old do I need to be to participate? 

We generally recommend that participants are over the age of 4, though at most sites, any age is welcome (see note below regarding the UT Kickoff Location). You can expect to walk on a stream bank or uneven ground, picking up various types of trash. For younger participants, we pick sites that are kid-friendly, such as a park. *This year, volunteers registering for the UT Kickoff Location must be 18 years or older. If these new criteria present a problem to you or individuals in your group, please contact us for more information and suggestions.

What do I wear?

Preferably long pants and a short or long sleeve t-shirt with closed-toed shoes. The entire event is held outside, so dress for the weather.

What is a kickoff location?

Volunteers will meet at one of 7 kickoff locations and then spread out to over 60 different cleanup sites. A kickoff location is where your group meets up before traveling to your clean up location.

Where and when do I register?

A registration link will be provided here close to the event date.

What is a challenge award and how do I win one?

During the cleanup, volunteers keep track of how many bags they fill and record that on the Challenge Registration form to be completed and returned at the Appreciation Picnic. Combined with the number of bags collected and the number of volunteers from the group, Challenge winners are determined. The Challenge Winners are announced at the picnic and presented with awards and trophies. To learn more, check out this article.  

What is a group leader?

A group leader is responsible for the coordination of their organization; including registration of all the volunteers, you recruited from your group, designating site captains that get trained, completing, and submitting the Challenge Entry Form for your organization.

What is a site captain and what do they do?

Site Captains are responsible for the coordination of a group or team at a designated site, including assignment of team jobs (i.e. recorder, collector), having first aid materials (provided), knowing emergency numbers (provided), gives/takes supplies, and turning in extra supplies, completed data cards, and completed Site Captain Reports at the Supply Station at the Appreciation Picnic. Each group of over 10 participants is required to have 1 Site Captain for every 10 volunteers. Training for Site Captains are required and are usually scheduled for the week before Clean Your Streams Day.

What are the responsibilities of the volunteers?

Volunteers are responsible for the collection of trash and recording what types of trash are found onto data cards. Your Site Captain or Group Leader will assign recorders and collectors. Recorders are responsible for recording what the collectors pick up and writing it on data cards. Collectors are responsible for picking up the trash and letting the recorders know what they find.

What is a data card?

Your Kickoff Coordinator will pass these out the day of the event. These cards are used to record what types of trash you find which are later reported for local and international research with Ohio's Coastweek's program and the International Coastal Cleanup.

Further questions can be directed to 419-874-0727 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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