NC Stream Watch


NC Stream Watch 3.0 is Here

You know that feeling when you're near a beautiful stream and you just want to share it with someone?  NC Stream Watch invites you to learn about the streams in your own community and share with others across North Carolina.  This program is perfect for learners of all ages interested in exploring the health of their own stream as well as other streams around the state.

Observe Your Stream:

  • Habitat Health
  • Trash Tracking
  • Conveyances
  • Chemistry
  • Macroinvertebrates

Get Started Today!

Add your observations with the 

NC Stream Watch Survey

View statewide data with the 

Observations Map


    Additional NC Stream Watch Resources 

    Learn about NC Streams While Exploring Your Own. Anyone can join NC Stream Watch!  Do you teach about water or the environment?  Are you looking for ways to engage remote learners?  Maybe you just pass a stream while you're walking your dog.  If you'd like to be a part of the network, just claim your stream and start completing surveys whenever you wish.  The goal of NC Stream Watch is to host observations and images of North Carolina's beautiful water resources for community members to see the diversity of waterways from different parts of the state.  NC Stream Watch is a program intended for educational purposes only. 

    Enjoy our Stream Watch Introduction Video.

    Learn how to submit your General Observations by watching our quick How-To Video.

    Learn how to complete the Trash Tracker and Habitat Assessment portion of the survey.

    Ready to take a look? Get started by completing the NC Stream Watch Survey and then view your data on the Observations Dashboard. 


    Questions? Interested in becoming an NC Stream Watch Leader in your area? - Water Education Programs Coordinator


    Tier 1 Data and Information


    Interested in submitting specific data only? Tier 1 Data is collected and used primarily for educational purposes.  Tier I data cannot be used for regulatory purposes.  These can be submitted to DWR staff directly or preferably through using one of the community science applications in the NC Stream Watch Program.  A quality assurance program plan (QAPP) is not required but is recommended.     Tier 1 data and information are valuable in the Watershed Action Plan (WAP) process for community involvement and project development. 

    Tier 1 Applications Available Below

    These introductory level applications can be used as standalone or together.  The intent is to make watershed improvement activities accessible to a broad audience and to have community collected information appear in applications with data collected by trained observers.  These tools not only provide valuable watershed information but can also be a gage of community interest in participating in WAP implementation.   These applications perform best using the Survey123 app.  You can also use them in a web browser.   You will be prompted when you click the link for each application.

    Tier 1 Data Collection Surveys (Click +/- to expand/collapse)

    Trash Surveyor/Tracker

    Trash Surveyor/Tracker

    Trash Tracker

    This tool is used to enter the number of bags of trash picked up during a stream cleanup and to document it by taking a picture and posting it automatically into online Maps.  This is the easiest application to use.

    Link to Trash Tracker

    Trash surveyor

    This survey is used to scout potential stream or land based cleanup areas. The tool can also be used to evaluate Trash accumulation between cleanup projects.  The most important component is the ability to geolocate areas that may require more cleanup effort, people and bags.  This app is also used to determine site safety so that someone could evaluate whether they would need to have professionals, community scientists or could even have kids groups involved in the cleanup process.  It is also good for planning for the amounts of trash versus recyclables on the site.

    Link to Trash Surveyor



    Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Survey (IWL) 

    This application is directly from the Izaak Walton League paper process and provides a qualitative benthic macroinvertebrate score. NC DEQ has migrated this program to a Survey123 application.  This application is probably most likely to be used by high school teachers or entry level college biology classes to do evaluations of the ecological condition. The ratings can be displayed alongside detailed NC DEQ macroinvertebrate collections.

     Link to Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Survey

    Aquatic Habitat

    Aquatic Habitat

    Aquatic Habitat Survey

    This application is from the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program. NC DEQ has migrated this program to a Survey123 application.  Like the Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Survey this application is probably most likely to be used by trained community scientist, high school teachers and entry level college biology classes.

    Link to take the Aquatic Habitat Survey

    Water Chemistry

    Water Chemistry

    Water Chemistry Survey

    This application is used to document water chemistry information that is collected in the field using non type 2 or type 3 data collection methods and equipment. The information is for educational or qualitative chemical assessments.  This information can help guide more rigorous type 2 and type 3 data collections.

    Link to Water Chemistry Survey

    Source Tracker

    Source Tracker

    Source Tracker

    Is similar to the SCITS tool except that it doesn't require the user to provide priority on the combination of source and conveyance information. This application is primarily for educational purposes so community members can associate landscape characteristics with water resource conditions.  The information is also valuable for watershed stakeholders to identify WIPS that will improve conditions in the community.   

    Link to Source Tracker Survey