October 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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October 2013

t-shirt  shonn mondayThank You! Thank You! Thank you! The PCS staff and planning team could not be more pleased with how the 17th Annual Clean Your Streams Day went on Saturday the 21st of September. As part of the International Coastal Cleanup and Ohio’s Coastweeks program, Clean Your Streams had 941 volunteers this year. We worked from 7 kickoff locations and spread out along 33 miles on the banks of Swan Creek, Ottawa River, Maumee River and creeks and ditches flowing into Maumee Bay and Lake Erie. Volunteers collected 16,366 pounds of trash, including 914 bags, 96.5 tires and many odd things. To name just a few odd finds, volunteers found a sewing machine, couch, sleeping bag, kid's slide & pool, toddler-sized mattress, toilet, table-top record player, bikes and much, much more. After hauling shopping carts, dozens of tires and much more out of the rivers, volunteers celebrated cleaner rivers with an Appreciation Picnic at the Lucas County Fairgrounds.

A huge congratulations goes to the groups that received our Challenge Awards at the Appreciation Picnic. These self-reported challenges are meant to encourage excitement about protecting our rivers. Large, not bagged items were converted to number of equivalent bags. Our top winners are as follows:

Youth (non-college age)

  •     Battle of the Bag: Toledo ZOOTeens (82 bags)
  •     Awesome Effort: Toledo ZOOTeens (3.28 bags per person)
  •     Most Volunteers: YWCA Teen Outreach Program (65 volunteers)


  •     Battle of the Bags: Habitat for Humanity, UT Chapter (95 bags)
  •     Awesome Effort: Theta Tau, University of Toledo (3 bags per person)
  •     Most Volunteers: Habitat for Humanity, UT Chapter (45 volunteers)


  • Ohio EPA (19 volunteers)


  • First Solar (65 volunteers)

Change for Change

  • Toledo Environmental Services (over 16 pounds of change)


A special thank you goes to the planning team which includes Mariyln DuFour, Patrick Lawrence, Katie Rousseau, Erika Buri, Brian Miller, Bob Neubert, Matt Beil, Stephanie Kuck, Andrea Beard, Don Nelson, Bill Buri, Cherie Blair, Terry Shankland and PCS Staff.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in Clean Your Streams and joined us as Partners for Clean Streams. You may have come with another group, business or volunteer organization, but on Clean Your Streams Day, you were a Partner, with us, for cleaner rivers. We look forward to maintaining that partnership in the future. One way to do so is by sending your pictures to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or upload them on our Clean Your Streams webpage or Tweet them using #CYS17.We look forward to seeing everyone next year for Clean Your Streams 2014!

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Partners for Clean Streams (PCS) completed additional habitat and stream restoration efforts at Camp Miakonda in September. Last year, as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funded project, PCS addressed erosion concerns along the Ottawa River and connected tributaries, excavated over 10,000 cubic yards of sediment from Lake Sawyer, treated invasive species like reed canary grass, and revitalized multiple acres of wetlands within the camp’s borders. Adaptive management continued throughout this year, which led to the deployment of contractor Ecological Restoration and Dave Derrick of Research-to-Design. The team further stabilized Hartman Ditch (the Northern tributary at camp) by repairing in-stream structures and added stream bank protection with stone and other natural materials. We planted over 1,800 live stakes of sandbar willow, silky dogwood, and buttonbush that will further stabilize the loose soil on the streambanks. By undertaking the additional restoration effort, PCS expects the two culverts Hartman flows through to flush more easily, reducing the amount of sediment buildup. Partners for Clean Streams is continuing to monitor Camp Miakonda in the coming months. Initial monitoring done by Enviroscience has revealed positive results in the Ottawa River with some exciting fish finds like bass, large pike, and plenty of bluegill. Plant life at camp is thriving and the variety of plants is much improved. Additional fish and insect monitoring will continue in the months ahead. PCS will also be installing educational signage for Scouts and other visitors to learn about the great resources and natural classrooms available for everyone to enjoy and benefit from along the Ottawa River at Camp.

By Josh Jackson

When I first applied for this internship I did not know if I would get the job or really what it would entail. Once I was accepted I got really excited because I just switched from education to environmental science so it was great to already start working towards a new career. To be honest, when I read the internship on paper, I thought that there would be more interaction with PCS and also some work inside of the river. My focus in environmental science is definitely ecology and freshwater systems so it is really exciting helping along a project that has to deal with the Ottawa River. Then when it came to the Olander work, the day that Todd Crail seined the ditch was awesome and all the plant identification is really great for future knowledge.

The whole point for me doing this internship was for me to get some experience in the field, see how PCS works and try to get more involved in the programs/events they are involved with, and get connections through PCS, University of Toledo, and Olander. Also, the internship is going towards eight credits hours during my senior year so that is also a plus! I have already learned so much such as plant identification, quartiles, plant assessment, fish seining, how to treat different invasive plants, the use of herbicide, and I am sure there is more that I am forgetting about. When I was in education I knew exactly what my job was going to be when I graduated and it was easy to get comfortable. Now with environmental science, I have no idea what I will be doing next year and it is a little nerve racking.

Even though I am not sure what I will be doing when I get out of school, this internship is giving me knowledge that I did not have before and also helping me get some connections so it has been worth every second. Also, I am doing work that is fulfilling and that is always something to achieve when in the workplace. I believe that what we are doing is truly going to help the Maumee AOC and hopefully lead way for other projects such as taking on some projects on Swan Creek! Also, now that I work at Bass Pro Shop I realized that Bass Pro Shops has done work with Partners for Clean Streams and I would like to get involved in that in some related way. I want to get as involved as I can during this internship so that way I can find out what exactly I want to do. I am grateful for the opportunity to be doing this work even though at times it may be hot or I get poison ivy every week. All of this is going to become one huge experience. Through the University I have to keep a journal log and write a research paper so I will always be able to recap what I have learned.

Editor note: This internship is one of 8 that PCS was able to offer this year with funding from our NOAA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant called the Maumee Corps. With our partners, Metroparks of Toledo and The Nature Conservancy, PCS secured funding for multiple positions ranging from these internships to full-time positions and seasonal field crews at our partner agencies. PCS chose to focus on providing opportunities for students or recent graduates to encourage more experience, and more exposure for students, in environmental careers in this area.

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By Kyle Spicer

At the end of July, I was fortunate enough to attend the National Conference on Ecological Restoration in Schaumberg, IL. Before I get into that, I should tell you that I still consider myself the new guy. My two year anniversary of working with Partners for Clean Streams as the Project Coordinator is in November of this year, so I still have plenty to learn about in regard to the ins and outs of restoration projects. Yet, here I was, driving to Schaumberg to attend an international conference with an attendance list encompassing hundreds of representatives ranging from governmental organizations, nationally renowned agencies, and other nonprofits. I felt as if I was on a mission to tell the story of how a small nonprofit works to make big changes in the community we serve, one project at a time, through partnership.

The first few days of the conference flew by. Discussions and panels stressing the importance of best management practices in the agricultural regions of the Great Lakes, climate change, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, multitudes of dynamic tools (both new and current) for monitoring and assessing ecosystem health, and urban ecosystem restoration. There were plenty of other topics with six concurrent sessions being held at the same time. Many attendees were bouncing between sessions to catch different speakers. It was a busy experience to say the least.

At first I was dismayed to see the agenda. I was to speak in one of the last sessions on Thursday afternoon, the fourth speaker in a panel of four discussing urban ecosystem restoration along with the difficulties and lessons learned. If you’re like me, you want to get stressful things done and over with. Having to wait days to speak on a topic you’re still getting comfortable with isn’t exactly, well, comforting. Looking back now, however, I think presenting later in the conference was rewarding.

All throughout the conference I was listening not to what the speaker was giving information on, but the context in which it was delivered. Things like where their project was done, how it affected the residents of a town downstream, and other socio-economic factors. I bet for every project even remotely connected to an urban environment, there are dozens of stories about the public raising concern. One of the greatest realizations I had during the week was the idea of giving an intrinsic value to the restoration you’re doing. Yes, it’s great for the environment, the Earth, and the people living next to the project area. The public knows that already. Calling something an environmental restoration project yields the connotation that it’s good for the Earth. What the average person really wants to know is “why I should care” and “what do I get out of it”?

That’s when I knew I had to adjust my presentation. The Camp Miakonda Project is the perfect example of how restoration and public value to the land can cooperate for the greater good (if you’re not familiar with the project, please check out our Projects page on the PCS website). Amidst all the conversations about lake excavation, in-stream erosion control structures, and wetlands remediation, there are a lot of secondary effects of the project for the Boy Scouts of America to be excited for. The number one improvement to Camp Miakonda is drastically improved access to both existing and new resources. Lake Sawyer is fishable and navigable again, the Ottawa River is exposed and safely accessible via an expanded path around the lake, and new outdoor classrooms capable of introducing youth to new ideas are abundant and currently being used.

This was my story to give and the reason I was attending the conference. Small nonprofit or not, everyone at that conference had a story to tell. Driving home I realized my story was just as important as a round table discussion on Asian Carp. The Earth is in our hands and one day our children will inherit it. I hope they will know why every effort, both big and small, is important because their turn is coming.

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