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Launched in 2003, Adopt-A-Stream is The Watershed Center’s bi-annual macroinvertebrate and habitat assessment program. Adopt-A-Stream provides high quality, reputable data that is used in management and restoration decisions by local and state resource professionals. Data is used to flag issues, evaluate stream segments ripe for restoration, assess restoration efforts, establish water quality baselines, and monitor for invasive invertebrates that may cause ecological damage.

Additionally, Adopt-A-Stream helps cultivate a sense of freshwater stewardship and better understanding of water quality issues for families, groups, and individuals involved in the program. Adopt-A-Stream provides the opportunity for community members to get involved and feel invested so we are all able to enjoy healthy, clean water for recreation, tourism, and simple natural beauty.

Adopt-A-Stream is perfect for families, friends, neighborhood groups, employee clubs – just about anyone who is interested in exploring our area streams and helping collect valuable water quality data at the same time. 

Adopt-A-Stream Data


How it Works

  • Work with our staff to find a stream sampling location
  • Assemble a team yourself or join one of our current teams
  • Pledge to monitor your stream once during June and October
  • Designate a team leader, who will receive training from the Watershed Center for sampling benthic macroinvertebrates. That’s fancy scientific terminology for “aquatic insects,” which can signify a stream’s health

What You Get

  • Recognition on The Watershed Center’s website and in newsletters
  • Fun, hands-on, place-based education
  • Pride of ownership in our water quality

Getting Started

  • Attend our New Volunteer Orientation and Training held each fall prior to sampling – no commitment necessary, just come and learn about the program
  • Email Heather at or call 231.935.1514 x3 to learn more

Become an Adopt-A-Stream Sponsor

All of this is made possible by the generous financial support of the businesses, organizations, and individuals who sponsor Adopt-A-Stream.

Interested in becoming an Adopt-A-Stream Sponsor? Find all the sponsorship details here or contact Michelle at or 231.935.1514 x4 to learn more.

Thank You to Our Stream Sponsors!

  • Captain’s Quarters
  • The Donaldson Family
  • Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association
  • Hazelnut Kids
  • Naperala Consulting LLC
  • The Northern Angler
  • Rotary Camps & Services Water Committee

We connect people to what makes
our region special – clean water.