The vessel renowned for the early 1970s cleanup of the Cuyahoga, the Putzfrau (“Cleaning Lady”), is being called back to service.  While resuming her mission of removing debris and pollutants from Ohio’s North Coast, this time she has an even greater purpose.  The Putzfrau will be a primary training vessel for Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School, enabling students to pursue their interests in maritime, environmental science, engineering and biology while also bolstering trash removal.  Other students interested in ecology, marine biology and environmental science will also be invited aboard.  The current crisis in education and lack of opportunity for young, urban students creates an imperative to tackle Cleveland’s most pressing issues.  This innovative approach to learning will flourish not only during the Covid crisis but beyond.

Working with student-designed harbor and marina clean-up boats (Cornerman) and the Port of Cleveland cleaning vessels Flotsam and Jetsam, the Putzfrau, with her on-board crane, small debris and surface pollutant vacuum and on-deck dumpster, significantly increases the capability of large debris removal and overall cleanup capacity.   

Community support is vital to this endeavor’s success.  PHASTAR has teamed with the Port of Cleveland, West Creek Conservancy, and Samsel Supply to provide the initial development and launch of this program.  We are now seeking $250,000 through a one-month campaign.  This money will return all on-board systems to full function plus build a science lab into the wheelhouse.  Not only will our river and harbor be cleaner and safer, but more importantly, you will be investing in a floating classroom that allows students to resume studies in a location that provides social distancing, plenty of fresh air and the satisfaction of being part of the solutions to our region’s challenges.