August 2013

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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August 2013

bike frame found croppedshrunk

Now is the time to sign up for the 17th Annual Clean Your Streams Day!

1,175 volunteers, 18,882 pounds, 60 sites and 30 miles. That was last year. What will this year look like? Or better yet, what will our volunteers look like!? Join the 17th Annual Clean Your Streams Day on September 21st to make a highly visible impact on our local water ways and have some fun! This is one of the largest cleanup efforts in the state and possibly the most exciting, so don’t miss out!

Here is what you need to know- Check in begins at 8:00am and orientation begins at 8:30am at each of our 7 convenient kickoff locations. Site assignments (locations for cleaning various streams, within quick driving or walking distance of the kickoff) will be given during the orientation. All volunteers are invited to an Appreciation Picnic after cleaning the rivers at 12:15pm. There will be a lunch, door prizes, and challenge results provided at the picnic.

As usual, youth organizations, collegiate groups, businesses and other organizations are encouraged to participate in the Group Challenges and compete for categories such as, “Battle of the Bags”, “Most Volunteers”, and “Awesome Effort”. Winners will receive a unique plaque demonstrating their hard work and dedication to cleaner streams and bragging rights for the next year.

For more information and to complete the REQUIRED REGISTRATION, visit This year, to allow us to best plan supplies and clean up locations, all individuals, families, small and large groups must register.

Don’t miss out on our largest event and taking care of Toledo’s pride and joy – our rivers! We will see you at the 17th Annual Clean Your Streams Day!

Every year, hundreds of Partners for Clean Streams volunteers—people like you!—take to the waters and remove the garbage that doesn’t belong there. In 2012 alone, volunteers removed over 18,000 pounds of trash on Clean Your Streams Day! Plus, volunteers removed 173 pounds of lead sinkers left over from fishing in the Maumee River. Your efforts really add up!

Partners for Clean Streams is dedicated to the waterways of the greater Toledo area, but we depend on your support. So, as your group comes together and joins 1,000 other volunteers at the 2013 Clean Your Streams Day, we want to know:


We challenge each group that is registered for this year’s event to pool dimes, nickels, quarters and pennies. Search under sofa cushions! Raid piggy banks! Empty car cupholders! Set out a jar in the office! We will weigh your group’s collective Change to see which group brings the most.

Bring your change with you to the Appreciation Picnic AFTER the cleanup. Each group’s collective Change will be weighed and weight totals will be marked on a board at the Picnic. The group with the heaviest change wins the Challenge and will receive a mystery award. Bring on the Change for Rivers!

zooteenscys16Are you up for the challenge? Our rivers need your support! Check out the new and improved Clean Your Streams Firstgiving page and start showing your support! Set up your own fundraising page to tell your river story then share it with your friends and family and others throughout the area. Tell them why and how you care for clean, healthy rivers. Then ask them to support rivers by donating on your Firstgiving page. is a user friendly website created to help groups or nonprofits that need donation to achieve their mission. This fits perfectly because PCS is devoted to improving our precious waterways and could use that extra financial boost, especially with Clean Your Streams Day. With our Firstgiving page, you can easily create a fundraising page and provide a safe, efficient way for anyone to donate on behalf of clean water.

This is also a great tool for your group, especially if you are already planning to participate as a team – encourage team building and excitement with a team page and perhaps your business will even match the donations. If you need help, just ask. Our staff is happy to set up your unique team page to get you started.

To support clean rivers with the 17th Annual Clean Your Streams Day, just go to the Firstgiving page

Several PCS staff members have already established their own fundraising pages. For inspiration (or to donate!) check out Lindsey's CYS page . But fundraising is not limited to PCS staff. Anyone who loves their streams can create their own fundraising page and make a difference in our community. There is no limit to how much you can do for your local rivers. Fundraise as a team, a group of employees, church groups or on your own. The most successful fundraiser will be announced at the Clean Your Streams Appreciation Picnic on September 21st. Join the flow and your support for clean rivers!

As told by Craig Krajeski, Maumee Corps Seasonal Internship Team Lead

I am very excited to be joining Partners For Clean Streams through the Maumee Corps Internship as a team leader. I view this internship as an excellent opportunity for me to gain valuable environmental field experience that will help me accomplish my career goal of becoming an environmental consultant. I believe this internship will also allow me to hone my leadership abilities and provide me with valuable knowledge in habitat restoration practices and plant identification skills. As a University of Toledo alumnus, I was particularly interested in this internship because of the positive impacts the habitat restoration work will have on the section of the Ottawa River that runs through UT’s campus. I believe the completion of this project will be incredibly beneficial to UT as it will make the Ottawa River more accessible and visible to those on campus. I have truly enjoyed the work we have already done this summer, and our team of interns is incredibly hard working and efficient in removing non-native invasive plant species from the banks of the Ottawa River and within Sylvan Prairie Park in Sylvania, Ohio. In the weeks to come, I am looking forward to working with my fellow interns in the removal of invasive non-native plants from Sylvan Prairie and the University of Toledo as we continue on in our habitat restoration efforts.

I graduated from the University of Toledo in May 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and magna cum laude honors. While earning my degree, I took a strong interest in aquatic ecology and environmental issues affecting Northwest Ohio. Before joining Partners For Clean Streams and the Maumee Corps Internship I gained field and research experience through Dr. Hans Gottgens lab within UT’s Environmental Science department. Starting in July 2010 and through October 2010, I assisted a University of Toledo Master of Science student in sampling and data collection for his thesis researching freshwater mussels in three Northwest Ohio streams. While sampling in the field, I was responsible for recording and organizing all of the data that we collected. This data included water depth, sediment composition and compaction, and mussel species and shell dimensions. As I gained experience in the field, my duties expanded to identifying and measuring the live mussels we collected and searching sediment samples for juvenile mussels. Through this field work I gained experience using the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) which was used to score each site in which we sampled for mussels, and I recently completed a two day training class to become certified as a level 2 QHEI specialist. After the field season ended in 2010 and each site was thoroughly sampled for live mussels, I completed a personal research poster analyzing aspects of the data we collected & presented my findings at Posters at the Capitol 2011 in Columbus, OH. My research focused on correlating each sites’ mussel species diversity to its QHEI score and analyzing populations of a particular mussel species that was found in all three streams. The things I am learning during this internship are expanding and building off of my previous experiences. I have a better understanding of stream ecology, not just small parts but as a whole. I am very excited to combine this knowledge and apply it in my future career in stream ecology. I consider myself lucky.

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"The river is always changing, always flowing"- Pocohontas, Disney

Many people know that we live in what once was (and still is) the Great Black Swamp. But what does that mean for our flooded backyards, basements and overflowing flood plains this past June or the potentially cracked soil and droughts we expect in August? There are over 16,000 miles of ditches in the Great Black Swamp Area and many of them were dug by hand. A ditch’s sole job is to take the water away from the flat land faster than it can seep into the ground and carry it to Lake Erie. Here in Northwestern Ohio, that is an important part of our water cycle.

May was very dry, which was good for many farmers. But during June and into July, I often asked Mother Nature in a rather sarcastic tone, “Seriously? More rain? Really?” After all, there was a three week period in which it rained almost every day. It was the 8th wettest June on record. Some places received 2 months worth of rain overnight. I got very tired of the never ending rain and it concerned many people. Is Toledo going to be the next Atlantis? The answer is no. With so much rain, the rivers’ banks were breached, farm fields became swimming holes for sea gulls and the rivers stayed high for weeks. The rivers’ and ditches’ job is to take that water and move it methodically through a series of tributaries to Lake Erie. Flood plains allow water a place to slow down and drop sediment before emptying into Lake Erie, a very important process. The Maumee River has the largest drainage area of all the rivers in the Great Lakes region, covering about 8,316 square miles. This means that even if Defiance or Fort Wayne gets rain, the Maumee River will rise and we, everyone downstream, can experience high waters.

Rivers maintain the cycle of water, even in dry times. During the dry months, ditches and streams will dry up and seem dead. These effervescent streams serve a very important purpose for when it does rain hard, they channelize the water quickly. Plants and animals have been adapting to these fluctuating water levels for thousands of years. Lower water levels mean hunting is easier but water is warmer and slower. Dry ground forces plants to grow roots longer to reach the water. High water means fish can travel further upstream to mate and there is more access to vegetation on river banks.

Humans have a significant impact on river flow by controlling how fast water reaches the rivers. The less channelization, impervious pavement and fewer dams, the better our rivers can flow. The more wetlands, flood storage and rain gardens, the better. It is good to remember that flood waters can arrive quickly and carry anything from toys to boat docks and picnic tables downstream. And empty streams are perfectly natural and waiting to do their job. That is how Northwest Ohio’s rivers fit into the immense water cycle. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

By Lindsey Crego

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