United States
         Environmental Protection
October 1997
         Office of Water (4102)
oEPA  Adopt Your

    Join the thousands of volunteers
    working to protect the nation's
       valuable water resources*

What is a watershed?

Watersheds are nature's way of
dividing up the landscape. Rivers,
lakes, estuaries, wetlands, streams,
even the oceans can serve as catch
basins for the land adjacent to them.
Ground water aquifers serve the
same purpose for the land above
them.  The
actions of
people who live
within a water-
shed affect the
health of the waters
that drain
into it.

What is the Adopt Your

Watershed  Campaign?

To encourage stewardship of the
nation's water  resources and to
celebrate  25 years of progress under
the Clean Water Act, the
Environmental  Protection Agency
(EPA) is leading an "Adopt Your
Watershed" campaign. Through this
effort, EPA challenges citizens  and
organizations to join us and others
who  are working to protect and
restore our valuable rivers, streams,
wetlands, lakes, ground water, and

Why is this needed?
For the past 25 years, our nation has
made tremendous progress
in cleaning up water pollution by
regulating discharges from factories
and sewage treatment plants.
However,  significant pollution  prob-
lems remain, especially polluted
runoff from agricultural lands, city
streets, construction  sites, and even

from our suburban lawns To achieve healthy
watersheds, we need the help of citizens like you.

What do you mean by adoption?

"Adoption" means any citizen-based effort—large
or small—to restore or protect a watershed, river,
lake, wetland or estuary Examples of adoption
activities include organizing stream  cleanups,
volunteering to monitor water quality, planting
trees along eroding streambanks. educating
school children and the community  about
water pollution, or becoming involved in working
cooperatively with local government agencies
that make water quality decisions

How can I  make a difference?

With more than 500 active volunteer monitoring
groups and  more than 1,000 watershed alliances
already working nationwide, you may have many
opportunities to join an organized effort in your
area  You may also wish to start your own water-
shed adoption group and learn from the lessons
of those who are already at work Check out
"Tools to Help You Adopt Your Watershed" listed
on the back of this brochure for more information
on how to get started.

How can  I find out what groups

are active  in  my community?

EPA is building a  voluntary, national catalog of
organizations involved m protecting local water
bodies, including formal watershed alliances,
local groups, and schools that conduct activities
such as volunteer monitoring, cleanups,  and
restoration projects This catalog is available  on
the World Wide Web at wwwepa gov/surf Visit
this page and "point and click"  your way to
information specific to your state or watershed
to learn about existing partnerships, volunteer
opportunities and local environmental condi-
tions  If you don't have internet access, call toll
free 1-888-478-2051 and ask for information
on watershed groups or water quality conditions

in your zipcode or county. f you already
belong to a watershed group, be sure you are
linked into our national catalog of watershed
Resources in jour corn mu tiit j
Check to see if one or more of these organizations
is active in your community:
Watershed Alliance/Watershed Council—broad -
based organization with multiple partners (federal,
state, local agencies, business, environmental
groups, etc.) that work on a variety of issues
including wetlands protection, riparian restoration,
nonpoint sources of pollution,
drinking water, and storm
water management.
Volunteer Mon itorina Organization—orga n i zes
the environmental data collected by citizen volun-
teers. Organizations generally provide training and
equipment to their volunteers to collect
data on pollutant levels and other water
characteristics, creatures such as insects
and snails that live in water,
physical conditions such as
eroded stream banks, and
other ecological aspects.
Youth Education Project— activity or program
designed to teach youth about watershed issues,
including water quality and
j: ) ‘j habitat preservation, and how
to be good stewards of their
watershed by participating
in activities such as volunteer
I monitoring, restoration activities,
/ I watershed walks and surveys.
targeted project or
program that focuses
efforts on a specific need such
as planting trees and restoring
riparian areas, and protecting or
enhancing aquatic/waterfowl habitat.
Project —

Join Our NationaL Catalog
of Watershed Partnerships!
Do you represent an organization that should
be listed? Here’s how you can be included in our
catalog of watershed partnerships to network with
others and receive periodic updates. Fill out the
form on-line http //www epa gov/surf/adopt/form
or send the attached hard copy to.
Adopt Your Watershed
US EPA, 401 M Street SW (4503F)
Washington, D C 20460
Email Surf-Link@EPAmail epa gov
Your Name
Group/School Name -
Organization Contact -
Address -
City State ____— Zip
County Tribal Nation ____
Internet Address
Number of Volunteers (approximate)
if your group is a local chapter of a regronai or national
organization what is its name’
Organization type Select the one that most closely
describes the group (see descriptions included at left
under “Resources in your community”)
Watershed Alliance/Watershed Council
Volunteer Monitoring
Youth Education Project/Program
Restoration/Conservation Project
_____ Other (Please specify)
Watershed or water body name

Tools to help jou
Adopt Your Watershed
Know Your Watershed tool kit includes five guides
and a video everything you need to get started
organizing a watershed partnership for your
community (SIB). Conservation Technology
Information Center (765) 494-9555
URL: http://www.ctic.purdue.edu/catalog
watershed management. h tm I
Starting Up: A Handbook for New River and
Watershed Organizations ($25). Guide provides
information for groups on how to get organized,
including funding and procedural advice.
River Network 1-800-423-6747
URL:http://www.teleport.com/ rivcrnet.
Clean Water in Your Watershed:
A Citizens Guide to Watershed
Protection, Terrene Institute,
Washington, D.C. (703) 548-5473
URL: http://www.terrene.org
Stream Doctor Project: Rcsto ring
America’s Streams Video ($25) and
companion A Citizen’s Streambank Restoration
Handbook ($20) shows how citizens can restore
a stream in their community. Volunteer Trainer’s
Handbook ($1 5) includes 10 years of Save Our
Streams experience in developing a monitoring
program. Save Our Streams Kit (S8) includes
information about how to adopt, monitor,
and protect streams. Save Our
Streams Handbook for
Wetlands Conservation and
Sustainabilitv. Handbook
explains wetlands ecology.
functions, and values. Also
includes wetlands monitor-
ing techniques and project
ideas. ($1 8) Izaak Walton
League of America (IWLA)
http://www.iwla.org/iwla/jump6/indcx. html

A World in Our Backyard: A Wetland Education and
Stewardship Program (Free) Suggests ways
of studying wetlands and how students and
teachers can “adopt” a local wetland
EPA Wetlands Hotline 1-800-832-7828
Global Rivers Environmental Education Network
(GREEN). Contains innovative activities for
watershed education and action (313) 761-8142
URL http./!www econet apc org/green!
What do these people have in common?
• A coal miner in West Virg inIa
• A student water quality monitor In Detroit
• An industry representative In Texas
Each of them has adopted their watershed. You
can benefit from the lessons learned through
their experiences and others’ Included in a new
publication , Top 10 Watershed Lessons Learned.
To find out more, visit the Internet at
or call 1-800-490-9198
and ask for EPA84O-F-97-OOi.
Adopt-A-Watershed. A K-i 2 community-school
learning experience that encourages stewardship
and education within local communities
Adopt-A-watershed (916) 628-5334
URL: http !!www tcoe trinity k I 2 ca.us!aaw/
Educating Young People about Water internet site
includes materials and a comprehensive listing of
curricula URL: http./!www uwex edu/erc/ywc!
or call 1-888-WATERWI or (608) 262-3576
for more information
This is not a complete list of available resources
and mention of these products does not consti-
tute endorsement by EPA. For a more extensive
list of resources, visit our Web page at
http !!www.epa.gov/surf!adopt/ or call toll free