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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Thank you and congratulations to the 69 youth who participated in the 14th Annual Partnering for Clean Streams Youth Patch Day Workshop on Sunday, March 6th. Seven groups of energetic children from kindergarten through fifth grade earned the blue and white embroidered Partnering for Clean Streams patch by participating in our unique water education stations. Professionals from across northwest Ohio exposed the participants to different aspects of our water resource, such as the importance of storm drains, the connection between trees and rivers, the algae of Lake Erie, and the movement of different particles through the water cycle.  More importantly, each station empowered the youth to become active stewards of our local environment with ways they can make a difference in the water quality of northwest Ohio’s rivers and beyond.

Many who participated in the Workshop are already excited to come back next year. One parent said, “The kids had a great time, I’ll bring more next year!” A favorite activity of many participants was the “Lake in a Bag” station where kids built their own miniature lake and learned what causes algae blooms. However, majority of the participants and parents said they enjoyed all the stations. We, as PCS, would like to extend a big thank you to all our participants and especially, our presenters and those involved in the planning process. These individuals include Cherie Blair, Andrea Beard, Jen Huber, Jamie Kochensparger, Cheryl Rice, Patrick Lawrence, Richard Kroeger, Jessica Wilbarger, Lauren Rush, and the ZOOTeens. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Workshop!

Storm Drain Marking for Global Youth Service Day is in just a few short weeks and registration closes this Thursday! On Saturday, April 16th, join the dozens of volunteers that will be passing out informational door hangers and marking storm drains with a clear message to citizens that “Drains are for Rain, Flows to Waterway.” On that day from 9:00am-12:00pm, volunteers will be marking the storm drains in preselected jurisdictions all around the greater Toledo area to protect our streams from pollution. At 12:30pm, an Appreciation Picnic for all volunteers will be held on the lawn at United Way of Greater Toledo as part of Global Youth Service Day. If weather does not permit us to mark drains on April 16th, a rainout date is scheduled for April 30th (with no picnic following). For more details and to register, please check out our Storm Drain Marking flyer and registration form on our website. We hope to see you on Global Youth Service Day!

Every year in late April, thousands of athletes from across the country come to Toledo for the renowned Mercy Health Glass City Marathon. For this year’s race, the planning committee has decided to go green, and Partners for Clean Streams is helping to achieve that goal.  Partners for Clean Streams is assisting the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon planning committee with the recycling, composting, and Terracycling endeavors before, during, and after the race.  In addition, Partners for Clean Streams has been selected as a charity partner for this year’s race.  Runners, or friends and family of runners, can donate directly to PCS on their website and contribute to our efforts to make northwest Ohio’s waterways clean, clear, and safe. 

Every year, the Toledo Roadrunners Club affords local non-profit organizations the opportunity to become a charity partner of the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, Owens Corning Half Marathon, and the Medical Mutual Glass City 5k.  Since 2009, the Toledo Roadrunners Club have raised over $300,000 for various Toledo nonprofits!  However, not all nonprofits are included every year in this awesome opportunity; the Toledo Roadrunners Club carefully selects each nonprofit organization and this year, Partners for Clean Streams was awarded this honor. 

Apart from being selected as a charity partner for the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, PCS is helping the race gain accreditation from The Council of Responsible Sport. Through a rigorous process, The Council evaluates sporting events based on their environmentally and socially responsible work that benefits both the participants and the larger community.  Since 2008, The Council has certified over 100 different sporting events across the county.  Partners for Clean Streams is advising the planning for the recycling, composting, and Terracycling stations at the race.  What is Terracycle® you ask? It is when used products, typically seen as unrecyclable like plastic gloves or pens, are transformed into entirely different, and new products.  During the marathon, PCS will collect the used GU Packs that runners consume for energy and submit them to a Terracycling company to be repurposed into something else. PCS will also help with water stations throughout the course, assist in the sorting of recyclable vs. non-recyclable materials, and provide educational materials at the race expo the day before.  

We hope you join us, and many fellow Toledoans, in celebrating the 2016 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, for it will surely be an exciting day! Also, remember you can directly donate to PCS, whether running in the race or not, on the Glass City Marathon homepage, under the charity partners section


Believe it or not, warmer weather and green grass are almost here and we all know what that means - it’s time for spring-cleaning! Whether it is washing floors, tuning up your car, or painting walls, many of us embrace the coming of spring with a bounty of cleaning and household products.  But what happens to those products once spring-cleaning is over? That decision is up to you, and we at PCS hope you choose to properly dispose of these products so that they do not end up in our streams, lakes, and rivers.

Many of today’s cleaning and household products are considered hazardous and should be disposed of properly, not simply thrown in the garbage can, dumpster, or down the storm drain.  Some examples of these products include drain cleaners, mildew removers, oil-based paints, varnishes and refinishers, motor oil, transmission fluid, fertilizers, and pesticides. Below are tips for using and disposing of hazardous products during, and after, your spring-cleaning. 

  • Don’t over apply the hazardous products; only use the recommended amount for your given task. 
  • Use a broom or mop, not a hose, to clean up spills – washing these products down to the nearest storm drain will send them untreated into our waterways. 
  • Do not pour anything down the storm drain, or into a ditch. These lead straight to streams, rivers and lakes, which are also our source of drinking water. 
  • Repair any automotive leaks immediately, and use a drip pan underneath the leak if repair is delayed. 
  • Contact your local waste management group, Lucas (419-213-2230) or Wood (419-354-9297) Counties, for more information on the proper disposal of hazardous products such as lighter fluid, paint, swimming pool chemicals, toilet bowl cleaner, nail polish and remover, super glue, and pesticides.  

In addition, if you are a City of Toledo resident, Republic Services offers to take away unwanted bulk items such as furniture, mattresses, tires, construction materials, and yard waste for free. This eliminates the chance for those bulk items to end up in our waterways.  If interested, call Republic Services at (419) 936-2511 at least two days prior to your regularly scheduled pick-up and put bulk items on curb beside your trash and recycling bins. A separate truck will come to pick-up the bulk items.

Other municipalities have similar programs. Check with your local city department. Let’s commit to clean this spring in a responsible manner that will not jeopardize the health of our streams, lakes, and rivers. Remember, if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t dump it! 


Currents: March 2016

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

Andrew Curran
Vice President
Assistant Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America

Colleen Dooley
Attorney, Private Practice

Philip Blosser
Market Development Manager
Perstorp Polyols

Denise Fonner
Board Member
Private Citizen

Shawn Reinhart
Board Member
Environmental Manager, Johns Manville

Terry Shankland
Board Member
CEO, Shankland's Catering

Chris Smalley
Board Member
Park Services Supervisor
Metroparks of the Toledo Area

Kyle Spicer
Board Member
Private Citizen

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