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Clean Your Streams

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

May7Are you tired of seeing trash floating down our rivers, streams, and in our lakes? Do you want to make a real, positive impact on the environment and in our community? Consider volunteering through Clean Your Streams! For three hours on one day in September, almost one thousand volunteers join forces to clean tons of trash from over 30 miles of rivers in the greater Toledo area. Volunteers gather at one of the several kickoff locations to clean up dozens of high-profile stream bank sites along 5 major waterways, tributaries, and ditches throughout our neighborhood. Volunteers of all ages remove and record what they find on data cards, which are later reported for localand international research with the International Coastal Cleanup. Many groups, such as youth volunteer groups, businesses, church groups, and environmental organizations participate in our group challenges. After a couple hours of picking up all types of imaginable trash, volunteers gather for an Appreciation Picnic where they are treated to a free hot lunch, thanked with a Clean Your Streams t-shirt, and provided with cleanup results, door prizes, challenge awards, education about watershed information, and much more. Every year, we partner with local agencies, sponsors, organizing organizations, and various other community partners. Join us by sponsoring the event, organizing a group, being a site captain, and/or volunteering to clean a stream. We hope you join us for the 21st Clean Your Streams on September 23rd!

July 6This year marks the 21st Annual Clean Your Streams Day!  We look forward to celebrating 21 years of successfully removing debris from streams, riverbanks, and watersheds in Toledo and surrounding areas. On the morning of September 23rd, join hundreds of other volunteers in removing tons of trash from our local riverbanks. Since 1997, the number of volunteers on Clean Your Streams Day has grown each year and the support for this event has gotten stronger and stronger. We average almost 1,000 volunteers who remove over 25,000 pounds of trash. The more friends, family members, and colleagues you encourage to join us for this special day, the bigger impact we can have on our local rivers. We have set a goal to fundraise $20,000 in event sponsorships by August 25th – we’re halfway there but need your help to make these dreams a reality! Your donation will support the future of this program and the legacy of positive community action towards protecting our waterways.

It takes thousands of dollars and countless hours of work to organize Clean Your Streams Day and we are so thankful for those who have supported us in the past. Specifically, we are looking for sponsors, door prizes, silent auction items, and monetary donations to make this event possible.  If you want to help make the 21st year of Clean Your Streams a success, you can donate on our website or by contacting us directly. From now until September 23rd, help us make this year the best Clean Your Streams Day yet by saving the date, soliciting other volunteers or sponsors in your family network, workplace, or organizations, and spreading the news about how awesome Clean Your Streams Day is with everyone! Stay tuned for more details on our website.

August2After registering for Clean Your Streams Day, consider signing up for our Challenges or River Partner Certifications! If your registered group is comprised of mostly youth or a college student organization, then you are eligible for our Youth and Collegiate Challenges. There are 3 different challenges for Youth and Collegiate groups, and awards will be provided for the top three finishers for each; the challenges include Most Volunteers (group with the most volunteers), Battle of the Bags (number of total bags of trash a group fills), and Awesome Effort (the average number of bags per person). To participate in these challenges, the group must complete and return the entry form by 12:30pm at the Appreciation Picnic.

We also encourage our Corporate and Organizational groups to become Certified River Partners for Clean Your Streams. Groups interested need to “certify” the total number of volunteers in the registered group at check-in on the day on the event and will be awarded a level of certification after Clean Your Streams Day. The River Partner Certification levels include Creek Crusader (1-9 volunteers), Stream Protector (10-29 volunteers), River Guardian (30-49 volunteers), and Watershed Warrior (50 or more volunteers). For more information about the CYS challenges and how you can sign up, check out our website or the challenge flyer.

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 stewards of them for the future. Below are Frequently Asked Questions about Clean Your Streams:


What day is it?

Usually the third Saturday in September


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 end 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? 

Any age is welcome. However, we recommend over the age of 4. 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.


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 8 kickoff locations and then spread out to over 60 different sites. A kickoff location is where your group meets up before traveling to your clean up location.


Where and when do I register?

Registration is now closed.


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 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 particpaints is required to have 1 Site Captain for every 10 volunteers. Trainings for Site Captains are required and these trainings are the week before Clean Your Streams Day. Register as a site captain here


What are the responsibilities of us as volunteers?

Volunteers are responsible for the collection of the trash and recording what types of trash are found onto data cards. Within your volunteer group 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.

We would like to thank our generous sponsors for supporting the 21st Clean Your Streams Day! We couldn't do this without you.



Partners for Clean Streams

Community Partners

                                                      UT fc vert  OI Logo BW        


CYS Underwriters

First Solar         Perstorp         TWI LogoColor   

Kwest Group             CityofTSeal       epaheader new


                                                 Lucas County Storm Water Utility      CityOfOregonLogo

 CYS Contributors

             davey resource group  Hull and AssociatesTetra Tech   ERGLogoLG


CYS Supporters 

Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC, Tires4Ward Program

Jones and Henry Engineers, Ltd.

Mannik & Smith Group, Inc

Monroe St. United Methodist Church


CYS Patrons

Amie's Pizza Factory

Bass Pro Shops

Bench's Greenhouse

Bennett Enterprises

Buffalo Wild Wings

Carpets By Otto

Carruth Studios

Cleland's Outdoor World

Denise Fonner

Earnest Brew Works

Fred LeFebvre of 1370 WSPD

Fresh Market

Fricker's - Maumee

Fricker's - Sylvania

Imagination Station

International Coastal Cleanup

J & G Pizza

Little Caesar's

Ken's Flower Shop


Lucas Co. Agricultural Society

Manos Greek Restaurant

Marco's Pizza


Metroparks of the Toledo Area

Michael's Cafe and Bakery

Mike's Pizza and More

National Museum of the Great Lakes

The Olander Park System

The Original Pancake House

Paddy Jack's

Russ' Auto Wash

Shankland's Catering

Strategically Digital

Toledo Mudhens

Toledo Museum of Art

Toledo Repertoire Theater

Toledo Symphony

Toledo Walleye Hockey Club

Toledo Zoo & Aquarium

Ventura's Restaurant

The Village Players

Waste Management

Wheeler Farms

Wixey Bakery





Clean Your Streams 2017

Clean Your Streams 2016

Clean Your Streams 2015

Clean Your Streams 2014

Clean Your Streams 2013

Clean Your Streams 2012


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