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Connecticut's Streamwalk Initiative

What Is A Streamwalk? 

A stream survey serves two purposes: resource evaluation through data collection and community involvement and education.  Through the survey, volunteers collect information on existing physical conditions of in-stream and streamside characteristics of the streams in a river basin. This information can be used later to identify resource needs and to plan conservation measures in the basin. It should be noted, the information collected through the stream survey will not be a complete assessment of the problems in or along the stream. Rather, the survey will act as a first step in establishing an understanding of the condition of a watershed. 

Equally important as the data collected, is the educational role of the streamwalk. Through a training program, local volunteers receive a basic course in stream ecology, morphology, water quality, non-point source pollution, and the relationship between a community and its river. The training session increases volunteers' awareness and understanding of potential impairments to the health of a river. What volunteers learn in the training session is reinforced when they conduct the survey itself. The survey brings volunteers into direct contact with a river and creates the opportunity for them to understand better the way a river system works and the relationships between their communities and the river.

Tools Used In A Streamwalk

Some of the following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

  • Streamwalk Guidebook (2.56 MB)
    Provides a framework for coordinating and conducting a streamwalk; provides streamwalk volunteers with instructions for using the Segment Survey Sheets for data collection, and; presents streamwalk volunteers with basic information about the physical characteristics of stream corridors and the impact of human activity on water quality.
  • Streamwalk Survey Sheet (240 KB)
    Used to collect data during the streamwalk. It should be used in conjunction with the training manual.
  • Workshop Training Packet
    Copies of the workshop training packet may be obtained through an email request to Todd Bobowick.
  • Streamwalk Training Video
    Copies of the streamwalk training video may be obtained through an email request to Todd Bobowick.
  • Quality Assurance Project Plan
    Written to meet Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for data collection, details the methodology of the streamwalk, and outlines the educational and technical benefits of conducting streamwalks. Copies may be obtained through an email request to Todd Bobowick.