Three unique projects were implemented by the Maumee RAP before Partners for Clean Streams existed. Between working with agriculture leaders and landowners, creating the sequel to a movie first produced in the 1960's, and funding one of the most successful environmental awareness campaigns ever in northwest Ohio have all attributed to providing PCS with a strong foundation from which to grow from and continue to support.
Give Water a Hand has been one of the most successful environmental awareness campaigns in northwest Ohio. Its success can be attributed to the highly collaborative team of people that worked together to achieve this success. Over 20 communities and organizations partnered together to create the Give Water a Hand Residential Campaign. Many of those continued with the program as we created the Business Campaign, and new partners joined the program with the Watershed Awareness (stream signing) Campaign and the Storm Drain Marking Campaign. This program has received requests and compliments from organization in many states and the Residential Campaign was awarded an Honorable Mention in a national competition by the National Association of Regional Councils in June 2006 and the Ohio Environmental Education Fund's 2006 Outstanding Environmental Education Project. The entire project was funded by the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, Local Jurisdictions and other partners. All materials are still available upon request. Follow the read more link to learn more.
In 1965 a motivated, environmentally aware group of ladies from the Jr. League of Toledo produced a film, Fate of a River: Apathy or Action, depicting foaming detergents, raw sewage, green and blue industrial discharges, gasping fish, and algae-laden streams in the Maumee River Watershed. It was shown to more than 70,000 people in the late 1960s. This film helped citizens throughout Northwest Ohio recognize that their actions were negatively impacting local waterways and that they could take actions to reduce or eliminate this impact to restore the health of their waterways.
After 30 years, Fate of a River: Apathy or Action was rediscovered in a University of Toledo Library closet in the mid-1990s. In 2001, three local groups partnered with WGTE-TV to highlight the many water quality improvements since 1965 by creating Fate of River: Revisited (Clearwater, Inc., Maumee RAP, Ottawa River Coalition). This was the most collaborative project with longest credit list of any show WGTE-TV had made at that time. Fate of River: Revisited first aired on WGTE TV30 (Toledo) on Nov. 21, 2002; since then it has been aired multiple times on 12 television stations in 3 states and has been seen by over 100,000 people at presentations.
The Toussaint River Improvement Incentive Program was developed to reduce sediment and nutrient loadings into the Toussaint River and Lake Erie. As a part of Phase I (1997 - 2000) incentives were available to landowners along the 36-mile mainstem of the Toussaint River. Landowners made a five-year commitment to maintaining newly installed conservation practices. Twenty-seven miles of filter strips and 233 acres of floodplain were set-aside under Phase I. Phase I activities and events included the creation of two full-color booklets illustrating the success of the project, media/information events, and conservation buffer area signage. Water quality assessments of the river were made before practices were put into place and then again after they were established. As a part of the Phase I program, a streambank stabilization project was also conducted.
The Joyce Foundation grant was awarded to PCS to be used to implement three projects that improved the quality of the lower end of the Maumee River and Lake Erie, in terms of both water quality and ecosystem function. These projects - human health and ecological risk assessments for Duck and Otter creeks; preparing a pipeline of mitigation projects for Swan Creek and the Ottawa River; and decommissioning of the Highland Park Dam; not only had direct impact, but they also represented and demonstrated solutions to the problems of urban and industrial areas within the Great Lakes basin. These projects are summarized as follows: