Volunteer to Help Our County Waterways

There are several ways you can volunteer your time to help improve our local waterways. Explore the options below and find the one best suited for you!

If you can't decide which volunteer opportunity is right for you, then sign up for our Stream Stewards program and you will be alerted to all existing and new opportunities!


Volunteer Opportunities


Stream Stewards

As a Stream Steward you will help educate County residents on the importance of their habits to the health of local rivers and streams.

Stream Stewards are active year round throughout the County. They provide assistance to several DEP programs including the RainScapes, Green Streets and the Stormwater Facility Maintenance Program. Stream Stewards serve as a voice for DEP so that County residents can feel empowered and educated on environmental issues.

Participation in an orientation session is required in order to become a Stream Steward volunteer.


Benefits of Joining the Stream Stewards Program:

  • Training with DEP outreach staff on environmental topics

  • Service learning hours for students

  • Flexible hours and events, including weekends and evenings

  • A variety of projects, including tabling for events, hands-on service projects and office work

Image of a Stream Steward educating a student.


The following volunteer opportunities are available with the Stream Stewards Program:

  • Watershed Keepers: Watershed keepers help DEP by adopting projects on public property, such as green street practices, tree plantings, or trash clean ups. Adoption of a project may require routine visual inspection, removing trash or debris, and weeding as necessary. Volunteers will communicate with DEP staff any major issues with their adopted project, as instructed during project-specific training.

Image of Stream Stewards at a trash pick-up event.
  • Watershed Ambassadors: Watershed ambassadors assist DEP at outreach events throughout the County. Volunteers will help staff information tables and help with RainScapes events. Events occur year-round on weekdays, weekends, and evenings.

  • Stream Monitoring Volunteer Internships: Interns work with stream monitoring crews to collect biological, physiochemical, and habitat data needed to assess stream health. For additional information, visit the internship page.

For additional information about volunteer opportunities with the Stream Stewards Volunteer Program, please fill out the form below. If you cannot read the form, or need to speak to someone directly, email to Stream.Stewards@montgomerycountymd.gov.


Upcoming Events

Our Volunteers in Action:



Organize a Community Cleanup

Storm Drain Marking

Storm drain markers help educate the public about our storm drain system. In Montgomery County the storm drains go directly into our rivers. Stormwater carries pollutants such as litter, pet waste, fertilizers, leaking autofluids, or anything that ends on the ground directly into our waterways through storm drains.

The storm drain markers are installed quickly and easily using permanent adhesive. Help change behavior by organizing a storm drain marking project. Get support from the County’s Storm drain Marking Program to remind people that street litter flows directly into local waterways and organize your own storm drain marking event. Materials are provided via the Storm Drain Marking program.


Image of storm drain marker.


Storm Drain Art

The Storm Drain Art program uses art to educate the public about the connection between our storm drains, streams and the Bay. 

So far, storms drains have been painted at high visibility areas such as the Kensington and Aspen Hill Libraries, the White Oak community center and a couple of private storm drains.  

All storm drain art must be done under the direction of the Department of Environmental Protection. For additional information about the Storm Drain Art program, email Stream.Stewards@montgomerycountymd.gov



Adopt a Road

Montgomery County's Adopt A Road (AAR) program encourages residents and businesses in the County to participate in a community activity by keeping our roadsides litter free.

Currently there are more than 1,000 volunteers who have adopted over 350 road segments, cleaning over 600 miles of road in an effort to Keep Montgomery County Beautiful.



Montgomery County is a new chapter in the nationwide FrogWatch USA program! Our chapter is an exciting new way for individuals and families to participate in citizen science and to learn more about amphibians and the wetlands they live in.

Volunteers are trained to identify frog and toad calls at a wetland site and to report their data online. Data is compiled and analyzed to develop conservation strategies for frog and toad species, and their habitat. Interested in hearing frog and toad calls? Visit our Frogs and toads biology page. 
Image of a Fowler's Toad

Volunteer Commitments:

Montgomery County will provide two volunteer training sessions, one before the monitoring season and one during. Throughout the breeding season from February to August, we ask that you commit to monitoring a wetland site for a three minute period 30 minutes after sunset weekly. You have the option of monitoring a pre-registered site by the County or registering your own site.


Tell Me More!

Visit the County's official FrogWatch page to learn more about participating in the program and to view photos of frogs and toads.   


Watershed Groups

There are several nonprofit watershed organizations in Montgomery County. Many are led by local citizens focused on the protection and conservation of the watershed in which they live and the natural resources around them. 

Their grassroots efforts range from organizing local stream cleanups and volunteer events to advocacy and providing testimony on County laws and policies. Watershed organizations provide a vital role in helping DEP in accomplishing its mission.  

Not sure which watershed you are located in? No problem! Search for your neighborhood in our interactive watershed map and find out!

Eyes of Paint Branch

The Eyes of Paint Branch was formed in 1994 to preserve and enhance the ecology of the Paint Branch. We are a grass-roots organization of volunteer citizens devoted to preserving the Paint Branch through education, community awareness, and action.

Friends of Cabin John Creek

We support the health and beauty of the Cabin John Creek watershed, raise awareness of its significance in the community, and foster community involvement in these goals.

Friends of Sligo Creek

Nonprofit community organization dedicated to protecting, improving, and appreciating the ecological health of Sligo Creek Park and its surrounding watershed.

Little Falls Watershed Alliance

Our mission is to protect the fragile natural environment in lower Montgomery County and adjacent DC neighborhoods and to ensure that the natural spaces in our area persist for generations to come. As stewards of the watershed, we are committed to restoring the water quality, natural habitat and ecological well-being of the Little Falls Watershed.  We speak up for the needs of our parks and natural areas, and we advocate for clean water laws that are fair and enforced consistently. 

Muddy Branch Alliance

Our goal is to protect the vulnerable natural environment that surrounds this stream, the Muddy Branch.  From Gaithersburg, through North Potomac and eventually to the Potomac River, we want to ensure that the natural spaces in our area flourish into the future.  

Neighbors of Northwest Branch

We, the Neighbors of the Northwest Branch, are committed to protecting, promoting and restoring the water quality, natural habitat, and ecological well-being of the Northwest Branch watershed.

Rock Creek Conservancy

Rock Creek Conservancy exists to restore Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect.

Seneca Creek Watershed Partnership

Our goal is to preserve the streams and open spaces that make up the Seneca Creek Watershed for the use and health of our native wildlife and residents. To improve the health of the Seneca Creek and its tributaries when feasible. We support and engage in opportunities and actions to improve the health of the Seneca Creek and its tributaries. We are dedicated to supporting projects and educational programs that benefit our watershed, by facilitating communications, and by organizing educational programs increasing awareness of our watershed and our place in it, and annual cleanup sites.

Watts Branch Alliance

Our goal is to protect the vulnerable natural environment that surrounds this stream, the Watts Branch.   As stewards of the Watts Branch Watershed, we are committed to maintaining its' water quality, natural habitat and ecological well-being. We do this by bringing neighbors together to build awareness, improve its natural habitat, and enhance the community's enjoyment of the many creeks and streams within the watershed.

Regional Nonprofits

In addition to watershed groups, there are numerous groups working to promote a healthy and vibrant environment right here in the County. Although their main mission may not specifically state that they protect our local streams, their work is very important in protecting our local streams.

Below you will find an alphabetical listing of some of these organizations: