Currents | December 2014

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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We re-launched the RAP Committee, MaumeeRAP.org, the new DMDS, and a new local grant opportunity. So that’s what a re-launching blitz looks like! For those that missed it, read on for a summary and visit MaumeeRAP.org for more information.

If nothing else in this industry, we love our acronyms. So bear with us while we announce the many new or re-invented initiatives, all while adding some new acronyms to our collective jargon.

On December 4, we announced that your local hub for information on all things Maumee Area of Concern (AOC) or Maumee RAP will be MaumeeRAP.org. The website is still under development, but you can go to it now for important info on the MAAC (not football but Maumee AOC Advisory Committee), the new Data Management and Delisting System (or DMDS for short) for the Maumee AOC, and the new local Request for Proposals for a small grant opportunity.

Also, with much ado, at the recent AOC Summit (Area of Concern Summit, that is), we announced the re-establishment of a local Maumee RAP Committee with a fresh new name: Maumee AOC Advisory Committee, or MAAC for short. The new MAAC will be a stand-alone committee, no longer under PCS’s umbrella, but still with our guidance and support as PCS as the newly dubbed Maumee AOC Facilitating Organization (but sadly, no nice acronym for that one). Applications are available at MaumeeRAP.org for those interested in joining the new MAAC. Applications are now due January 9th, 2015.

The DMDS is an online tool that serves a one-stop-shop for up-to-date status of the Beneficial Use Impairments in the watersheds in the Area of Concern, along with pertinent analytical data and projects underway, completed, and envisioned for the AOC. All of this critical information is shown geographically and through searchable resources and queries. The DMDS is a tool meant to inform decision makers, and those practitioners working in the water and on the ground, regarding the most critical areas to target, types of activities needed, and plentiful, diverse projects already underway in the AOC. Using all this information, together, the many businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations and citizens working in tandem will be able to determine more targeted steps needed to make measurable improvements to the many local waterways in the Area of Concern.

And last, but certainly not least, we announced a local small grant opportunity focused on improving the Beneficial Use Impairments and on demonstrating that small, but important, water quality improvements can move the needle on measurable improvement, especially when they can later be scaled up and aggregated across watersheds. Short electronic proposals, for up to $15,000 in grant funding, are due January 30th, 2015 for projects to be completed by June 2016. Please review the full RFP at MaumeeRAP.org.

AGMEAPwinsThank you to everyone who joined us at the Annual General Meeting at the Ward Pavilion last month. The evening was quite chilly but the warmth of friendly, happy people and conversation, made up for it. Shankland’s Catering had a variety of foods and people enjoyed wine from Majestic Oak Winery. The presentation included all the highlights of work that has been done in the past year, and many well deserved awards. Clean Your Streams Challenge winners were presented with certificates and rotating plaques. The Board President awarded Kurt Erichsen with the Clean Streams Partner Award, a prestigious award for his leadership and dedication to over 25 years of improving our waterways. Finally, PCS paying dues members re-elected 3 board members and voted in 2 new board members. Congratulations to our newest board members, Denise Fonner and Kyle Spicer. The evening concluded with a Silent Auction with paintings, glass from the Toledo Museum of Art, Imagination Station tickets and much more. Thank you to all who celebrated 2014 and helped us look forward to 2015.

Kurt Erichsen wins the Clean Streams Partner AwardClean Stream Partner Awards are given to a “river hero” who has done remarkable work in favor of clean, clear and safe rivers. This person has shown passion and dedication for years in bringing people together to solve large, complex issues. This year, the award goes to Kurt Erichsen.

Kurt began his career by receiving his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Water Resources from Oregon State University in 1997 and his Master of Science in Sanitary Engineering in 1978. He became a Registered Professional Engineer from the State of Ohio in 1982 (passing the exam with the highest score in the state). He has worked on the popular “Give Water a Hand” campaign in 2006 and was awarded the John Bosely Leadership award from the National Association of Regional Councils in 2009. The Ohio House of Representatives H.R. honored him in 2009 as well. He has worked for TMACOG since 1987 in various roles, currently serving as the Vice President of Environmental Planning.

Kurt has worked on many different projects including writing, maintaining and upgrading the “208” Area Wide Water Quality Management Plan, establishing the Regional Stormwater Coalition, collaborating on the watershed restoration plan for Wolf Creek and Berger Ditch Watershed, and managed several projects related to the Ottawa River Contaminated Sediments. He also worked on overall watershed plans for the Maumee Remedial Action Plan, bringing us closer to cleaner rivers for generations to come. In addition to these major projects, Kurt has been involved by preparing, supervising or conducting dozens of other programs that benefit our local rivers.

Kurt is receiving the Clean Streams Partner Award for his tireless dedication to clean water throughout the region for the past 27 years. His leadership skills have been successful at bringing various agencies and collaborators together to solve various watershed issues. Thank you for your years of service, dedication and leadership, Kurt. Oh, and for your fun caricatures that quietly liven up many dull agendas and a few long meetings!

As we take time to slow down at the end of another whirlwind year, we reflect and appreciate the incredible work that has taken place in the past year. With this reflection, we gain a deep appreciation for our partners, volunteers and our extraordinary rivers, creeks and lakes. And we look to our supporters to make an end of the year gift to continue the work on clear, clean, and safe local waters. We often take for granted the rivers we all rely on for economy, recreation, drinking, and for so much of what provides the high quality of life that we enjoy. But this year, especially, those of us in the greater Toledo area received a harsh wake up call when we couldn’t use our water for even the most basic services – drinking and bathing. This experience shows us how connected we are to our water every day, often when we don’t even think about it. Our waters and our partnerships connect us to each other through shared memories, goals and experiences.

It doesn’t have to be such a big wake up call that helps us realize how often take for granted the fertile soils, variety of trees and flowers, abundant flowing rivers and great landscapes we have in our corner of the world. Because sometimes we notice small, seemingly insignificant things that can take our breath away and it is those moments that can compel us to appreciate and protect what we have every day.

This year, please consider helping your waterways by supporting the local organization that protects them with an end of the year gift. Become a Partner for Clean Streams by donating $15 or more! Your donations will keep the dynamic cleanup events, education activities, restoration projects and public outreach vital and growing. While we are dedicated to the waterways of the greater Toledo area, we depend on your support. Donating by the end of the year ensures your tax exemption to the extent allowed by law and that we start next year with even more resources to support clear, clean, and safe water. You can donate online or by sending in a check to Partners for Clean Streams, PO Box 203 Perrysburg OH, 43552.

Currents: December 2014


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Partners For Clean Streams


 

 

Patrick Lawrence, Ph.D.
President of Board
Associate Professor, Chair of Department of Geography
University of Toledo

 

Tim Schetter, Ph.D.
Vice President / Secretary
Director of Natural Resources, Metroparks of the Toledo Area

 

Colleen Dooley
Treasurer
Attorney, Private Practice

 

Terry Shankland
Board Member
CEO, Shankland's Catering

 

Andrew Curran
Board Member
Assistant Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America

 

Shawn Reinhart
Board Member
Environmental Manager, Johns Manville

 

Philip Blosser
Board Member
Market Development Manager
Perstorp Polyols

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