1.3. How the Adopt-A-Stream Program Works

1. The program is for volunteers. Your group may decide to apply for funding to cover some of your costs (materials and labour). You may use many volunteers with many different levels of expertise and experience.

2. The program involves professionals from the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture & Fisheries, the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, and trained members of community groups, who act as advisors and administrators of the program.

3. The program is cooperative. Different groups, involving everyone from schoolchildren to seniors, can work together on a project. There are jobs for everyone, including those with physical disabilities. Although some of the work takes place in or near the watercourse, there are important research and reporting tasks that can by done by someone who may not be able to participate in fieldwork.

4. The program is long term. It is not a one-time clean up. Communities are asked to make a commitment to "look after" what they adopt. Because the program is cooperative and can involve many different sectors of the community, this long-range task may not be as difficult as it sounds.

5. The program is as non-bureaucratic as possible. Paperwork and legalities exist, but they are kept to a minimum.

6. The program relies on consultation. You, your group, and your community play a big part in decisions that are made about your watercourse. Such decisions are made in consultation with habitat professionals. You will find that you can educate professionals about your community while they can educate you about water habitats. You will also find it necessary to consult with other people who have a direct interest in the watercourse, such as landowners.

7. The program has no formal starting time. However, the ideal time to identify a watercourse and organize a group is in the fall. During winter, your group can research the history of the watercourse and plan the fieldwork for spring or summer.

8. The program is a team effort. You could Adopt-A-Stream on your own, but you will most likely need assistance from others. If possible, make your project a combined effort of several groups. Community groups, schools, industries (including service industries like hospitals, motels, restaurants), and municipal government have often successfully cooperated in the past. The more groups you involve, the better your chances are for success. In addition, funding agencies often look favourably on projects that are supported by different community groups