Adopt A Stream

The Nebraska Wildlife Federation’s Adopt a Stream program is designed to engage Nebraskans in understanding and conserving their local stream, lake or wetland.

That often starts with picking up garbage and recyclables along the stream or shoreline.

By yourself, with family or friends, along with a local youth group, church or scout troop – however you do it, you can make a difference for Nebraska’s water resources and the fish and wildlife that depend on our rivers, lakes and wetlands. You can help us make sure that no stream is left behind!

Ready to do more?

by Duane HovorkaFor volunteers who want to do more, we developed a series of online training videos that allow people to learn how to assess and monitor their local stream. The videos were developed and tested in an innovative partnership with Doane College and Public Health Solutions.

We offer Adopt a Stream workshops and information nights where we teach people how identifying the snails, dragonfly and damselfly larvae, leeches, and other critters that live in a stream can tell you healthy the stream is. We teach them how to use basic water chemistry to identify potential problems. We help them understand how streams and wetlands work, and how they can be part of a network of stream monitors.

Over 250 Nebraskans have gone through one of the Federation’s one-day or two-day Adopt a Stream workshops

Ready to do more?

Armed with an understanding of how healthy your stream or lake is, and the problems you confront, you can begin to restore its health.

Stream or lake conservation projects can include removing invasive or noxious weeds, like purple loosestrife. Native grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees can be planted to stabilize the bank and improve the habitat.

Stream teams can educate their neighbors, helping them avoid practices that can harm a stream like dumping oil down a storm drain, using too many chemicals on their lawn, or failing to control erosion. In rural areas, they can educate farmers about incentives available for them to plant buffer strips to protect streams from sediment and ag chemicals that run off of farm fields.

Stream by stream, lake by lake, we can make Nebraska a better place for fish and wildlife!