Adopt-A-Stream Program

ESLA’S Adopted Streams: How we’re monitoring their health

ESLA's Adopt-A-Stream Program studying samplesLaunched in 2003, Adopt-A-Stream is The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay’s twice a year program to assess the health of macroinvertebrates and habitat. Adopt-A-Stream provides high quality, reputable data used in management and restoration decisions by local and state resource professionals. Data can flag potential problems, evaluate stream segments ripe for restoration, assess restoration efforts, establish water quality baselines, and monitor for invasive invertebrates that may cause ecological damage.

ESLA has had volunteers monitoring and sampling the Rapid River at the 7 Bridges Park in Kalkaska County twice each year since 2010.  The data can be found in the MiCorps Statewide Database. The Rapid River is a good example of a healthy river, as seen in the macroinvertebrate data.

In 2022, ESLA added Spencer / Gretel Creek to the Adopt-A-Stream program.  ESLA had been sampling this creek for years due to quality concerns brought to our attention by riparians in the vicinity of Spencer / Gretel Creek enters Elk Lake in Elk Rapids Township.  The data is stored in the MiCorps Statewide Database.  The water quality of Spencer / Gretel Creek is poor, based on the macroinvertebrate data, as well as other visual and water quality testing done by ESLA.

In 2023, legal action was taken by several parties, including ESLA, against an area food processor.  More information can be found in PROTECT OUR WATERS / LEGAL ACTION on the ESLA website.