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More than 90,000 miles of streams lace The Natural State, from the mighty Arkansas River to small creeks you can jump across. These rivers, streams, bayous, creeks and springs provide millions of hours of recreational activity, millions of gallons of drinking water, water for irrigation and industry, and millions of dollars of income to the state and its citizens.
Unfortunately, we’ve hurt the quality of many waterways. We’ve lost thousands of miles of free-flowing, natural streams to damming, industrial and agricultural pollution and other activities. Recent studies indicate we’ve lost more than 25 percent of the state’s smallmouth bass streams this century.
Arkansas Stream Team enables concerned citizens to become involved in stream and watershed conservation. Efforts revolve around three primary aspects of stream conservation: education, advocacy and stewardship.
Education -- Stream Team provides information to increase understanding and appreciation of Arkansas stream systems. Volunteers receive training in water-quality monitoring and streambank maintenance and restoration techniques.
Advocacy -- People with first-hand knowledge of problems, needs and solutions are better equipped to weigh both sides of a stream issue and speak out on behalf of Arkansas rivers and streams. The Stream Team program teaches volunteers how to work for conservation of Arkansas water resources.
Stewardship -- The Stream Team program helps landowners and stream users plan and carry out projects by matching them with the appropriate agency or ongoing organizational efforts. Litter control, streambank stabilization, streamside tree plantings, improvement of fish and wildlife habitat, water-quality monitoring and other special projects are all possible. Working with landowners, volunteers have repaired hundreds of miles of eroding streambanks. They’ve monitored water quality on thousands of miles of streams and have picked up tons of litter.
For more information, write to: State Stream Team Coordinator, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205, and request a sign up form, call Steve Filipek at (501) 223-6369, or click here.
Stream Team members can adopt a stream, determine its current situation and plan a project based on their initial survey. This is done with the landowner’s approval and technical assistance from program sponsors. Projects can include litter pick-ups, water-quality monitoring, streambank erosion control, watershed improvement and more. Your imagination is the only limitation.