How Do I Get Started with Adopt-A-Stream?
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!
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.
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.
Get informed! Read the AAS manuals.
Our staff have written a number of manuals designed to help our volunteers understand the importance of maintaining healthy waterways as well as what they can do to help. These manuals go into detail about the different types of monitoring that AAS volunteers conduct, as well as additional information on topics such as watersheds, land use, and non-point source pollution.
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 event—such as a river cleanup—and walk your watershed.
- Monitoring: In addition to running an outreach event, select any of our monitoring programs (e.g., chemical monitoring) that interest you and your group.
Attend a workshop.
If you decide you would like to monitor your stream, we suggest attending one of our training workshops. Depending on the type of monitoring you would like to conduct, you may be required to get certified through one of these workshops before you can go out and sample.
Register your group and site(s).
Register your group first and then any number of sites on the Adopt-A-Stream database.
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!