The Save Our Streams Program: A Project Watershed Activity
The most active and visible enterprise sponsored by the Project Watershed Consortium is the Save Our Streams (SOS) Program. Save Our Streams is the grassroots river and stream protection program of the Izaak Walton League of America. Founded in Maryland in 1969, SOS is based on the "adopt a stream" concept. Volunteers, including school children, adopt a stream and agree to become its active guardian for a year or more. They protect their streams by checking the water quality, looking for signs of trouble and taking action to solve pollution problems. Thousands of volunteers across the United States use SOS techniques to assess the quality of local streams and rivers and to help solve water pollution problems.
SOS provides students with an unique opportunity to learn about rivers and streams through hands-on experience. By leaving the traditional classroom setting and venturing outdoors, students can begin to appreciate that the science they learn in school has exciting and real - world applications. In addition, they learn that their actions do make a difference, and their help is vital in ensuring our rivers and streams are protected.
Project Watershed has enhanced the Save Our Streams Program through the addition of physical and chemical components to SOS's biological approach. The physical is a stream flow measurement and the chemical is a series of nine tests, derived from the M. K. Mitchell and W. B. Stapp, Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring.