How does Adopt-A-Stream help the Huron River?
Have you ever experienced a river? Felt the current flow past your legs and watched the constantly changing world of fish and water plants? Learn about the river with the Adopt-A-Stream Program. Be part of an ongoing scientific study and help to protect it at the same time. Work with a small team to examine stream conditions and detect problems early while correction is inexpensive.
Adopt-A-Stream teams have stopped pollution in Letts Creek by discovering an elusive oil spill that only occurred in certain storms. They recognized the signs of suffocating creatures and got swift action by the authorities to end an accidental but chronic spill.
Other volunteers in the program have a major impact by changing their landscaping to keep the rain clean and by inspiring their neighbors to take similar actions. It all adds up to protecting our fresh water for generations to come.
What is involved with volunteering for the Adopt-A-Stream program?
Unlike many volunteer programs such as Adopt-A-Highway, we do NOT focus on clean-ups or other isolated service projects. Rather, most of the activities in the program are part of a study of the river and its creeks. Working with a team of 3 to 6 people, you will have a chance to do a variety of stream related activities, from measuring how fast the water flows to finding the small creatures living on the bottom. You will have an opportunity to meet new people who share your interest in the natural world. You will have the opportunity to discover remarkable beauty and variety in and around the creeks of the Huron River Watershed.
Will I need to get wet?
In the insect collection events, you will not need to get wet, as only one or two members of the team will be in the creek while the others work on the bank. We provide the needed equipment, including waders. If you want to get wet, you can train to be a collector. But you first need to attend a Roundup or Stonefly Search as a regular participant.
Sometimes we work in the rain, so you need to bring good rain clothes and warm clothes if it is cool.
In the summer, we measure the stream habitat and every member of the team will be able to get into the water if that is what they want to do.
Should you prefer to work indoors, we have a variety of activities and tasks that fit your needs.
What if I don’t have science training?
No prior experience is necessary. We teach you everything you need to get started, and you will learn more while you are working with a team to study the creek. The leaders of the teams are simply people who have found the activities very interesting and have undertaken additional training in our workshops.
Who should volunteer?
The activities are designed for adults, but interested children are welcome when an adult accompanies each one. Participants include individuals, families, and organized groups. A meaningful involvement can take very little time, perhaps 2 to 5 half-days a year. To get started, just try one activity and then decide if you want to do more.
What does the Adopt-A-Stream program hope to accomplish for the Huron River System?
The Adopt-A-Stream Program strives to educate watershed residents about their connection to the river and also the current conditions of the Huron River and its tributary streams. A central goal of the program is to inspire people to take actions that lead to better river protection at home and in their communities.
What successes has the Adopt-A-Stream program had thus far?
- In 2001 the Livingston County Road Commission designed an expensive free span bridge in the Hamburg Road repairs to minimize the impact to South Ore Creek, which our data showed was in good condition.
- In 1997 Adopt-A-Stream volunteers identified a small but chronic oil spill, that was then corrected, in Chelsea’s Letts Creek.
- For many years the Fleming Creek Advisory Council, the Millers Creek Action Team and the Malletts Creek Association have been making great progress in influencing creek protection in their communities. They serve as educational and technical resources for community decision makers and have been instrumental in helping their communities improve development plans to protect the local creek.
How is the Adopt-A-Stream program funded?
For the first nine years of the program, Adopt-A-Stream was supported by Clean Water Act funds. Currently, funding comes from partnerships with several local businesses and foundations, and, very importantly, through individual memberships. Look at the far right sideboard for the “Donate” button that will help you become a member!
Who is the contact person for the Adopt-A-Stream program?
Direct inquiries about the Adopt-A-Stream program to Jason Frenzel or Paul Steen at:
Huron River Watershed Council
1100 N. Main Street, Suite 210
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734/769-5123 x11 or 14
or email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.