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Contact Information
For information on Volunteering with Rivers & Streams, contact:
Peggy Compton
Program Coordinator

Rivers and streams

Water Action Volunteers (WAV) is a statewide program for Wisconsin citizens who want to learn about and improve the quality of Wisconsin's streams and rivers. The program is coordinated through a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin - Cooperative Extension. Citizens, civic groups, 4-H clubs, students and other volunteer groups are participating in WAV programs across the state. There are three parts of Water Action Volunteers:

Stream Monitoring

Volunteers assess stream flow.
Volunteers assess stream flow.

WAV has three levels of stream monitoring to accommodate citizens' time availability and interests. Everyone begins by learning to monitor six aspects of water quality including sampling the aquatic invertebrates that live in the stream. After a monitoring season (May-October), citizens can move to the next level to monitor four aspects of stream health using the same methods as DNR biologists or can conduct intensive monitoring that addresses a specific issue about local stream quality. Time Commitment: About one hour per month. How to Get Involved: Contact the statewide or a local coordinator to let them know you are interested or check the events calendar for training in your area.

River Cleanups

Volunteers celebrate a successful clean up iin Menomonee.
Volunteers celebrate a successful clean up in Menomonee. Photo courtesy of Krista James.

Volunteers interested in helping clean up a local river can conduct a river clean up. Guidelines for how to coordinate a river clean up are available online or can be sent to you. Time Commitment: A few hours. How to Get Involved: Information for organizing, obtaining free garbage bags and reporting a river clean up is available online. Get Involved

Storm Drain Stenciling

Large bins of items for recycling.
Students stencil a local storm drain in Manitowoc. Photo courtesy of Wendy Lutzke.

Most storm drains in our towns and cities drain directly to local waterways. Runoff from storms can carry many pollutants to our waters in this way. Volunteers can obtain stencils free of charge from DNR and can mark the street next to drains to indicate not to dump wastes there to help protect water quality. Door hanger cards are also available free of charge to help spread the word in local neighborhoods where stenciling projects are being done. How to Get Involved: Information for organizing a local storm drain stenciling project is available online or can be mailed to you. Local contacts have stencils and door hanger cards for volunteers to use. Get Involved

Contact Information
For information on Volunteering with Rivers & Streams, contact:
Peggy Compton
Program Coordinator
Last Revised: Tuesday November 27 2018