Summer 2017
Your quarterly news & updates
There are always exciting projects and events going on in our watershed! Read on to learn about what we've been up to in the last few months, and what we have planned for the next.
New assistant watershed coordinator

Kate Chapel joined Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners in June of 2017 as the assistant watershed coordinator. She was born and raised in Kirtland, Ohio and has lived in the Lake Erie watershed for most of her life. Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in Botany from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. While there, she conducted research on the Agaves of the Bahama Archipelago and published a new species of clover from Kentucky. Kate then continued her studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI where she earned a master’s in Conservation Ecology with a focus on terrestrial ecosystems. Her opus work was the creation and updating of a Land Management Plan for the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s eight properties which will prioritize projects for the next fifteen years.

Previously, Kate has worked for the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, as a graduate student instructor at the University of Michigan, and for the Huron River Watershed Council in Ann Arbor. Most recently, Kate worked as a Provisional Interpreter the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority. She is excited to bring her experiences and skills to this new position to benefit the watershed and its communities. 

Many thanks to our assistant watershed manager!

Over the past year with Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners (TCWP), I have had the opportunity to serve as the organization’s first intern as well as the first part-time Assistant Watershed Manager.  In both of these roles, I have learned a great deal about watershed management, collaborative efforts to restore our watersheds, and the beautiful Tinker’s Creek watershed.  I have been able to assist in updating the Tinker’s Creek Watershed Action Plan (WAP) to the new Non-Point Source Implementation Strategic (NPS-IS) Plan as well as pilot TCWP’s Good Housekeeping program through the creation of the guide and the City of Beachwood’s Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping plan.  TCWP has also provided me the opportunity to meet the many fantastic people in the Northeast Ohio watershed world through meetings and outreach events.

In August, I begin the next chapter of my life at Ohio University, where I will join their Environmental Studies Master’s Degree Program.  Thus, my time at TCWP will come to close at the end of July.  It has been a wonderful experience working with this organization and serving the watershed, and I am very excited to stay up to date with the group!

Jennie Brancho will be greatly missed at TCWP! We thank her for all of her hard work and wish her all the best in graduate school and beyond. 
Going Buggy 
Right around this time of year, swarms of midges and mayflies take over Cleveland and surrounding areas. For some, this is the most annoying time of the year, but these bugs are fantastic news for water quality in the region! Insect species exhibit varying tolerances to pollution, and thus the insect community fluctuates relative to water quality. Studying the insect community can provide insight into the short- and long-term effects of pollution as well as the cumulative impact of multiple pollution events. Environmental degradation like sedimentation, habitat loss, and chemical pollution can threaten these communities, causing the population to leave a waterbody.


So maybe those crazy bugs flying all around you are actually a very good thing! The pollution tolerance of midges varies depending on the species of midge, but for the most part, midges fall into Group 3 of macroinvertebrates: the pollution tolerant group. These invertebrates can survive in low oxygen environments with a wider pH range and warmer water. Thus, the presence of midges does not necessarily mean the water quality is improving. The presence of midges alone could be an indicator of poor water quality, as midges tolerate high pollutant loads and low oxygen levels, but in the Lake Erie region, we are lucky to have mayflies as well! Unlike midges, mayflies are sensitive to pollution and their presence is an indicator of improving water quality.

Read more on our website at

Members & partners are the key to our success
Business Members

Thank you to our business members! If you own a business and would like to become a member or learn about our services to members, check out our website.

Good Nature Organic Lawn Care
Davey Resource Group
ADS (Advanced Drainage System)
Environmental Design Group
Mark Haynes Construction
Stephen Hovancsek and Associates, Inc.
inSite Advisory Group, LLC
Community Members

 Thank you to our community members! You can learn more about our services to communities at our website.

Aurora                            Reminderville
Beachwood                     Streetsboro
Bedford                          Twinsburg
Glenwillow                      Twinsburg Township
Hudson                           Valley View
Macedonia                      Warrensville Heights

Individual Members

Thank you to our individual members! Having a reliable base of individual members is invaluable to us. Each person really does make a difference. If you would like to become an individual member or learn about what your membership helps accomplish, check out our website.

Not ready to become a member? You can also make a one-time donation of any amount. 

Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015

In December of 2015, the Microbead-Free Waters Act (the Act) was passed as a way to prevent more plastic from going into the Great Lakes. Microbeads are those little scrubby plastic pieces in many cosmetics including soaps, face wash, and even toothpaste. They are small in size, usually less than a millimeter, and therefore can pass right through many water treatment facilities and straight into our creeks, rivers, and ultimately Lake Erie. In one 4.2 ounce container of a leading facial cleanser, there are a whopping 356,000 microbeads!

A recent study was done in Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie. The team surveyed 21 sites, 20 of which contained plastic. Lake Erie alone had eight sampling sites where just two sites contained 85% of all the plastic found in the entire study. These two sites were down river from Erie, PA; Cleveland, OH; and Detroit, MI. Lake Erie is the most populated of the Great Lakes, so it is not surprising that we have this amount of pollution, but Lake Erie is also known for its walleye, who can mistake these tiny pieces of plastic for food.

The Act has a two-part timeline, one date for halting the production of these items, and another date for stopping the sale of these items. We just passed our first milestone on July 1, 2017! That means companies can no longer produce and manufacture scrubs or other products with microbeads in them without facing a penalty. However, you can still buy these items in stores until July 1, 2018. That allows time for stores to go through their inventory. Until then though, we encourage you to make the switch to more environmentally healthy cosmetics. There are lots of scrubs and soaps on the market that use sugar, coffee, chocolate beans, apricot husks, walnut shells, and more as the abrasive ingredient. You can even make your own! Coffee or chocolate do seem more appealing than plastic, don’t they? 

Read more on our website at

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