On Saturday, September 23rd, over 900 volunteers joined forces to clean the waterways of Northwest Ohio. Together, they removed over 23,000 pounds of trash, litter, and marine debris at 69 different sites. The volunteers covered 25.57 miles of riverbank, impacting the Swan Creek, Ottawa River, Maumee Bay tributaries, Maumee River, and several small watersheds. 94 tires were removed from these riparian areas, which were then collected and recycled through Bridgestone’s Tires4Ward program. Volunteers for the cleanup completed data cards at each site that detailed what kinds of marine debris and how much were removed. These findings were tabulated and inputted into the International Coastal Conservancy’s TIDES database for 2017.
Clean Your Streams Day has a huge impact on Maumee AOC’s Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI). Specifically, BUI 11 (Degradation of Aesthetics) is significantly improved through these efforts. At many of the cleanup sites, trash and debris had littered the riverbanks. By removing the waste before it travels to the waterways of Northwest Ohio, or further downstream to Lake Erie, Clean Your Streams Day enhances the aesthetics of these areas and prevents potential pollutants. The sheer amount of trash picked up beautifies the parks and riparian areas and fosters stewardship of this natural resource among citizen volunteers. 99% of volunteers felt that they had a positive impact on their waterways and the aesthetic condition was undoubtedly improved.