Each year nearly 3,000 Adopt-A-Stream volunteers remove thirty tons of trash in streams throughout Charlotte and Mecklenburg County! While this may seem like a lot, we still need more help! There are approximately 3,000 miles of streams throughout Mecklenburg County and there’s always a lot of trash that ends up in streams after a storm.
Rain washes trash from streets into the storm drainage system that leads directly to ponds, streams and lakes. Sometimes people dump trash directly into waterways on purpose. Trash makes our streams and lakes look terrible and harms aquatic habitat. Chemicals that may be in the trash can also degrade water quality.
Adopt-A-Stream volunteers have fun exploring local streams and feel great knowing they are helping the environment. 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. Looking to add some extra fun to the cleanup process? Print off this Adopt-A-Stream bingo sheet to play with your group.
To participate in the Adopt-A-Stream program, volunteers are required to clean up a stream segment twice a year for two years. We will supply all the materials you need and get the trash you’ve collected picked up. Once a group has cleaned their stream segment twice and sent us all data sheets, the group qualifies to have their name on an Adopt-A-Stream road sign! The information below can help you with the next steps for adopting a stream.
CMSWS staff can also provide a presentation to help a group learn more about stormwater, and the quality of local streams and lakes in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
A group or individual can also choose to hold one or more cleanups at a stream without the commitment of an Adopt-A-Stream contract. CMSWS staff can help you coordinate this event and provide you with supplies.
If you are interested, please read through the information below.
Please visit ourVOLUNTEER EVENTS page for upcoming Adopt-A-Stream events.
Steps to Participate in Adopt-A-Stream
1) Find a Stream Segment available for adoption.
Adopt-A-Stream Interactive Mapto find a stream segment available for adoption. If you have problems using the map, please see the contact listed on this page. Please use the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Microsoft Edge.