Other Affiliation: Stream Watch Coordinator, Division of Environmental Management, N.C. Department of Natural Resources and Community Development
North Carolina's Department of Natural Resources and Community Development (NRCD), under the leadership of Secretary Joe Grimsley, has placed a high priority on increasing citizen involvement in the department's programs. The Stream Watch program, launched in March 1983, was developed to encourage citizens to become actively involved in local water resource management and protection. The program's three primary goals are: The seven NRCD regional offices provide staff support for Stream Watch activities, but groups must take the initiative for planning appropriate projects. Financial support has been made available through a $30,000 grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. This money has been allocated to many groups throughout the state in the form of grants ranging from $200 to $1000. 1. To encourage North Carolina's citizens to "adopt" watersheds near their homes and make a long-range commitment to watch over and care for those areas 2. To increase citizens' awareness of and involvement in water resource management and protection 3. To establish a working partnership among North Carolina's citizens, industries and state and local governments. Citizen groups interested in participating in Stream Watch are asked to identify a local creek, river, lake or estuary that they are particularly concerned about. They agree to adopt that area, and register it with the central Stream Watch Coordinator in Raleigh. In return, they receive a folder of information on the Stream Watch program and related water resource issues. The groups are asked to inventory their adopted areas, learning about their history, land uses and natural assets. They should evaluate the areas' potentials and take stock of their present needs and problems.