Volunteers wading in a creek wearing boots and reflective vests cleaning the creek.

Public involvement is an essential component of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services’ (CMSWS) Program. CMSWS recognizes that without public involvement and support, little progress can be made toward protecting and restoring water quality in our streams and lakes. We are thankful for the 4,000+ volunteers that participate every year in our programs.

Upcoming Volunteer Events

CMSWS hosts monthly events the Second Saturday and last Thursday (VolunThursday) of every month, along with other events throughout the year. The calendar below lists upcoming events. If you plan to attend, please register on our Volunteer Opportunities SignUpGenius page.

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Commit to take ownership of a stream segment and remove litter from it at least twice a year, in exchange you get a sign with your group name on it! It can be a great opportunity to teach environmental stewardship to children or a great team building and community service activity for businesses, civic groups, and neighborhood groups. 

How to get started:

  1. Find a stream segment available for adoption using our Adopt-A-Stream Interactive Map
  2. Visit the stream segment
    • Make sure there are safe areas to access the creek and the water isn’t too deep for your group
  3. Email your stream code and any questions you have to STW-Volunteers@mecknc.gov. We’ll get you started with your new Adopt-A-Stream contract along with details on how to pick-up supplies and schedule your first cleanup!


Help protect our waterways by keeping pollution from entering our storm drains. This program is currently a pilot program in partnership with the Towns of Davidson, Matthews, Mint Hill, and Pineville. Use our Adopt-A-Drain Interactive Map to find a storm drain available for adoption.

Creek Week

Join us March 16-23, 2024 for our 6th annual Creek Week full of volunteer and educational that will give you a deeper appreciation for our waterways. There will be more information available at the start of the new year.

Storm Drain Marking

Help protect streams and lakes by educating the community about their connection to our waterways! Volunteers with the Storm Drain Marking Program glue decals onto storm drains that say, “This Drain Is Only for Rain. Do Not Dump – Drains to Creek”. Use our Storm Drain Marking Interactive Map to find streets that are in need of markers. 

Storm Water Advisory Committee

The Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC) is a group of volunteers who provide guidance and public input into the services and policies of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services. The advisory committee is comprised of nine residents appointed by the City Council, County Commission and Town Commissions. SWAC meets monthly and provides four areas of service:

  • reviews policies
  • hears appeals and decides on violations, fee credits, service charges and adjustments
  • evaluates capital and operational programs and budgets
  • makes recommendations or comments to elected officials


The SWAC hears appeals related to the Storm Water Services Fee(PDF, 854KB)Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance(PDF, 1MB) and the Post Construction Controls Ordinance(PDF, 1MB).


John Tartt, Chair
Randy Smith, Vice Chair
Nancy Carter
Nestor Hernandez
Cameron Guice
Rick Roti
Britt Setzer
Richard Thigpen

To apply for a SWAC member position, please contact either the Mecklenburg County Office of the Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners or the Charlotte City Council Assistant City Clerk/Boards:

Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East Fourth St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Kirk McSwain
Assistant City Clerk/Boards, City of Charlotte


Kristine Smith
Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners, Mecklenburg County

Meeting Schedule

SWAC meetings are held each month, every 3rd Thursday, beginning at 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM in the Hal Marshall Conference Room 407, 4th Floor, 2145 Suttle Ave, Charlotte, NC 28208. The public is welcome to attend and provide input during public comment. For more information about SWAC or to request meeting agendas or minutes, please contact:

Myrette Stephen
Senior Administrative Support Assistant, Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services

*Anyone needing special accommodations when attending a SWAC meeting and/or if this information is needed in any alternate format because of a disability, please contact the Clerk to the SWAC at least 72 hours prior to the meeting at 980.314.3205.

The Big Spring Clean

Join neighbors from all over Charlotte-Mecklenburg as CMSWS hosts multiple stream cleanups all on one day. Our next Big Spring Clean will take place on March 23, 2024. 

Tree Planting and Maintenance

Streams need trees alongside their banks to reduce erosion, filter pollutants, absorb flood waters, reduce water temperatures, and provide habitat for aquatic wildlife like fish and turtles. CMSWS hosts planting events throughout the year and maintenance events to help ensure the growth of these trees. The next tree planting event, Creek ReLeaf, will take place on November 18, 2023. Registration is open now The Charlotte Public Tree Fund.

Volunteer Monitoring

Help us monitor the health of a local stream by taking a quick photo, sample, or continually monitoring a specific location. If you have a stream in your neighborhood that you would like to monitor or you just want to learn more ways to get involved with this program, email Taylor Mebane at STW-Volunteers@mecknc.gov