Georgia Adopt-A-Stream
Levels of Involvement

Getting Started
  • Register your stream, wetland or lake with
    Georgia Adopt-A-Stream
  • Notify your local government
  • Decide who will receive your data
  • Find local partners
  • Develop a "Who To Call" list
  • Conduct at least one cleanup
  • Conduct at least one outreach activity
Getting to Know Your Watershed
  • Do you know your watershed address?
Determine Which Watershed You Are In
Watershed Survey and Map Assessment
What
  • Mapping your watershed and conducting a comprehensive survey of the land uses, potential and actual pollution sources, geography and history of your waterbody and its watershed.

Why
  • Getting to know your watershed is the first step to understanding your stream, wetland or lake
  • The health of your waterbody is directly impacted by land uses and activities.

When
  • Every year
Visual Stream Monitoring
What
  • Visual & physical evaluation of stream conditions

Why
  • Most of the critical water pollutants and habitat damage can be detected through the visual survey, i.e. sedimentation, erosion, excessive nutrients.

When
  • Quarterly or once every season
Macroinvertebrate Monitoring
What
  • Inventory of Macroinvertebrates in the stream

Why
  • The diversity of macroinvertebrates found indicate the overall health of the stream.
  • The presence of macroinvertebrates indicate both water and habitat quality.

When
  • Quarterly or once every season
Chemical Monitoring
What
  • The basic tests are pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and conductivity
  • Advanced tests include phosphates, nitrates, ammonia, and alkalinity

Why
  • Oxygen is needed for respiration
  • Temperature is directly related to biological activity
  • pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of the water
  • Phosphates and nitrates are nutrients that cause algal blooms when present in excess

When
  • Once a month
Amphibian Monitoring
What
  • Obtain information on the presence and absence of tree frog and salamander species in riparian corridors and wetlands

Why
  • Amphibian species and numbers are rapidly declining throughout the world
  • Noting the presence or absence of a species and their abundances can help in their recovery and preservation.
  • Amphibians are another biological indicator (along with macroinvertebrates and fishes), aiding in the detection of ecosystem health.

When
  • Once a month
Bacterial Monitoring
What
  • Collecting water samples to test for E. coli bacteria

Why
  • The presence of E. coli bacteria in our waterways is an indicator of potential health hazards associated with polluted water.

When
  • Once a month