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The Adopt-a-Stream/Pond program is sponsored by the District and Prince William County in an effort to bring the community together in cleaning our waterways. Stream cleanups involve volunteers walking along a stream or paddling a stream channel, collecting trash and gathering information. Information gathered can include types and quantities of trash, debris too large to move, and problems encountered.
Freedom High School Adopt-a-Pond sign

Adopt-a-Stream/Pond Information


There are about 1,100 miles of streams in Prince William County. In the Adopt-A-Stream or Pond (AAS/P) program, volunteers agree to pick up litter along their adopted stream segment of at least ¼ mile or a stormwater management pond, once (preferably twice) a year for a minimum two year commitment.

The Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District (PWSWCD) promotes and helps administer the cleanup program on behalf of the Prince William County government and its citizens. When you register for a cleanup event, you can order all of the gloves, trash bags, and vests you need for that cleanup. The supplies will be sent directly to you.

After completing at least one cleanup, your AAS group will receive a metal “Adopt-A-Stream” sign (with the group’s name and stream/pond name) from us that will be erected at the stream site. Contact PWSWCD for instructions on erecting the sign.


To register for a clean-up, click here or contact Veronica Tangiri at

Occoquan River Clean-up trash

Who Can Adopt a Stream or Pond? 
Scout Troops, 4-H clubs, ecology clubs, schools or school clubs, families, individuals, businesses, church groups, sports teams, home-school groups, or other organizations can adopt a stream. Students can use the time toward community service hours. Businesses are strongly urged to join the AAS/P program and receive recognition for their stewardship of the environment. Your group or organization can help preserve, protect and revitalize community streams. The AAS/P program benefits our local Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. It is easy, fun, and a great team-building experience for all ages. Join us and you will really make a difference!

For information or to schedule a speaker for your group about the AAS program call 571.379.7514 or

How Do I Get Started? 
Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District can help individuals or groups find a stream (see map below) or you can select a stream on your property. 

Established Group: Go to Established Group Procedures if your group is already signed up under AAS.

Starting Your Own Group - Go to Start Your Own Clean-up Site for steps on how to start your own clean-up group

Click here to Register your Clean-Up Site (can be submitted online; only submit once)

Click here for an Application Form (needs a signature)

Important Documents:

Liability Release Form (for Individuals)

Liability Release Form (for Groups)

Liability Sign-In Sheet

Manual for Adopt-A-Stream/Pond

Safety Guidelines

Bull Run Protectors using a Litter grabber

Stream Clean-up Site Map

Click Here to go to a map of open Adopt-a-Stream spots!

  • Orange - Sites available for adoption

  • Green - Sites currently adopted

If you find a spot you would like to adopt, or have an idea of another spot, please e-mail Veronica Tangiri at

Adopt-A-Stream/Pond Sites Map

Other Programs:

What is the International Coastal Cleanup?
Every September 1 to October 31, volunteers across Virginia from the mountains to the oceans gather along the shorelines of rivers, lakes, ponds and bays to pick up trash as part of the Clean Virginia Waterways (CVW) Cleanup Day (part of the International Coastal Cleanup). They also complete "International Coastal Cleanup Data Cards" from the Ocean Conservancy, helping to collect valuable information about the amounts, types and sources of debris found along Virginia's waterways. CVW's cleanup events educate the public on issues of freshwater and marine pollution, especially the preventable problem of litter. 

Note: The official date for the International Coastal Cleanup is the third Saturday in September. Here in Virginia, cleanup coordinators can select any date in September or October that best fits their schedule.

Why participate?

The International Coastal Cleanup is active in most states, and in 100 countries. As volunteers in Virginia are bagging trash and filling out data cards, more than 350,000 people worldwide are doing the same! Ocean Conservancy compiles the data received from sites around the world, and prepares a summary report to be used by citizens and policy makers in evaluating our progress in dealing with this serious form of pollution. The International Coastal Cleanup is the world's largest volunteer data collection effort devoted to the marine environment. 

If you register a cleanup site with CVW, they will provide you with trash bags, gloves, data cards, and possibly some freebies, for all of your volunteers. In addition, they usually send the site captain a free tee-shirt.

How do I participate?

If you would like to be a Site Captain and organize your own stream cleanup site:

  1. Choose a stream to clean. You may clean a stream on your property or on public property. Please contact the PWSWCD AAS Coordinator to double check if the stream is still available.

  2. After you have completed step 1, register on the Clean VA Waterways website.

  3. If you would like to borrow litter grabbers or arrange to have your stream cleanup trash picked up and weighed by the county, please contact AAS Coordinator

Click here to volunteer at a local "Clean Virginia Waterways" site and be part of the International Coastal Cleanup.

Top Ten Litter Items from Virginia Waterways Cleanups

  1.  beverage bottles (plastic, 2 liters or less)

  2. cigarettes/cigarette filters

  3. bags (plastic)

  4. food wrappers/containers

  5. cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons

  6. beverage cans

  7. glass beverage bottles

  8. caps, lids

  9. building materials

  10. toys

Volunteers picking up trash

Adopt-a-Stream Stats and Pictures

Statistics information coming soon!

Want to to see picture(s) of your stream/pond clean-up project in Prince William County on our website? Then send them over to! We are always looking for more photos, especially before and after.

So many volunteers to get the work done!

Anything can turn into trash

Anything can turn into trash

Bull Run Protectors Stream Clean-up

Bull Run Protectors Stream Clean-up; we did it!

Just taking a break to watch his favorite TV show

Just taking a break!

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