Getting Started

Do you want to get involved, but you don't know where to start? Follow the steps below and see how easy it is to engage and protect waterways!
  1. Select a site to adopt. Look around your neighborhood and find a stream, wetland or lake that you would like to learn about. Georgia Adopt-A-Stream does not assign streams, wetlands or lakes. We suggest you find a waterbody that is easy, safe and legal to access.
  2. Form a group. More than likely you will need help when adopting a site to monitor, restore and protect. It's always better to have two sets of eyes collecting data, to help with equipment and costs, and then also for safety reasons.
  3. Get informed! Read your manuals. Get a copy of the manual 'Getting To Know Your Watershed.' To obtain a copy, download from the Manuals page. Chapter 1 of this manual will give you some basic background on watersheds, the water cycle and effects of development. Chapter 2 provides background on nonpoint source pollution and some of the laws that are used to protect water quality. In Chapter 3, Getting Started, follow the directions on how to register your stream, wetland or lake.
  4. Determine your level of participation and goals. There are many levels to adopting a waterway. Take your time and think about why you want to monitor, what type of data you want to collect and who may be interested in using your data. Call us anytime if you need advice or guidance, and we can help guide you through this process:
  • Basic: Conduct one outreach eventsuch as a river cleanupand walk your watershed.
  • Monitoring: In addition to running an outreach event, look at our monitoring programs, and select any that interest you. select any of our monitoring programs (e.g., amphibian monitoring) that interest your group.
  1. Attend a workshop. Depending on what you decide for your level of participation, you and your group may be interested in attending some of our monitoring workshops. These workshops are fun and informative.​

  1. Register your group and site(s).  Registration forms are on our website. First register your group first and then any number of sites.
  2. Take it slow and ask questions. Becoming a part of Adopt-A-Stream is the beginning of a life-long learning experience. Biology, chemistry, geology, land use, policy, education and community spirit all have an influence on your stream, wetland or lake. So start slowly, ask a lot of questions, tell your neighbors what you are learning and enjoy yourself!