Use the mapping tool to select any water body in America, no matter how big or small.

Step 1 - Build a profile for your stream

Use photos, art, and the latest news about issues affecting your stream. Or how your "stream" has shaped the area around it. Discover what the future has in store. Use our rating system to spread the virtues of your stream with friends or alert others if the stream is in need of their help.

Step 2 - Take action for your stream with MyVolunteer Water Project

Discover hundreds of simple ways that you can preserve and protect your Stream of Hope with the combined power of our MyVolunteer Water Project tool, which is included with the program. Do projects at home or use the tool to create a neighborhood team or even a virtual one.

Step 3 - Conduct citizen science

Use the program to test local water quality, then share the information you collect with local and national researchers. We'll even ship the test kits to you.

Step 4 - Discover it. Share it

Share your stream with friends, update the latest news about it, and what you're doing to make a difference. Above all, join the efforts of thousands of positive, solution-oriented stewards of our environment who love our lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and coasts as much as we do.

Step-by-Step Guide*

Creating Your Own Stream of Hope: A Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome. If you're passionate about the ocean, rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands around us and eager to contribute to a community project, you're in the right place. We're going to navigate the world of Streams of Hope together, and don't worry if you're a novice - our guide is designed for everyone, regardless of your experience.

Step 1: Find Your Waterway

The initial step in our water exploration journey is choosing a body of water that fascinates you. This could be anything from the tiny brook that flows through your neighborhood park, to the majestic river you admired during your last road trip, or the serene lake you stumbled upon in your recent countryside vacation. The size or proximity of the water body doesn't matter; what's important is that it resonates with you!

Step 2: Register to Streams of Hope

Next, join the Streams of Hope community by clicking the "Create Your Stream" button on our homepage. You'll be prompted to provide your name, an active email address, and a password. Make sure your password is unique to ensure your account's safety. Aftereyou've entered these details, hit "Submit". Voila! You're officially a member of our water-loving community.

Step 3: Create Your Stream of Hope

With your account all set, it's time to get creative! On your dashboard, find and click on the "Create a New Stream of Hope button. This is where you'll share details about your selected water body. Feel free to recount interesting anecdotes, describe its unique characteristics, or express what it means to you. Don't forget to upload pictures that capture its essence - visuals make your story more compelling!

Step 4: Rating Your Stream

You'll notice a feature called the Streams of Hope rating system. It's akin to a health check-up report for your water body. This rating system allows you to convey how clean, vibrant, and diverse your chosen water body is. Every water system has its own charm, so there's no pressure - just sincere observations.

Step 6: Take A Simple Action to Help Your Stream

With your Stream of Hope set up, you're ready for MyVolunteer Water Project. This amazing tool lets you plan and carry oute projects at home or in your community to help your water body. You could plant trees, clean up trash, or start a water-savinge challenge with friends. Doing even one small project can help your waterway and even earn prizes for your town as part of oure annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation

Step 5: Engage in Water Quality Testing (Optional)

For those keen on diving deeper, water quality testing is an excellent next step. It might sound intimidating, but it's pretty straightforward, almost like a grade-school science project. We’ll guide you on how to do this and even provide the tools you’ll need. This exploratory task unveils more about your water body, adding to your knowledge and experience, and can be shared with local researchers to assist in their conservation efforts.

Step 6: Share Your Stream of Hope

Once you're satisfied with your entry, press the "Submit" button. Note that your Stream of Hope won't immediately appear on the public map as our team first reviews it for any necessary adjustments. Once approved, your entry will be visible to the entire Streams of Hope community, ready to inspire and inform.

Creating a Stream of Hope is about curiosity, learning, and sharing. There's no rigid guideline to follow. The depth and breadth of your contribution are entirely up to you.

Are you ready to embark on this exciting journey? Let's dive in and start shaping your unique Stream of Hope today!

Why It Works

Streams of Hope, a program of the Wyland Foundation, endeavors to bring about concrete environmental improvement by engaging residents across the nation's socio-economic spectrum in the health and vitality of their local water bodies. The program's core premise is that the collective contribution of many individuals can result in meaningful environmental change. Key Studies Supporting Pro-Environmental Outcomes

  1. Impact of Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring Programs: A study by Conrad and Hilchey (2011) reveals the efficacy of community-based water monitoring (CBWM) programs in fostering environmental stewardship and bringing about tangible improvements in water quality1. Streams of Hope's emphasis on user-led water quality monitoring and action projects aligns with the CBWM model, suggesting potential for similar results.
  2. Education and Environmental Action: A 2014 report by The Ocean Project demonstrates a strong correlation between education and pro-environmental behaviors2. Streams of Hope's educational components, including its interactive mapping feature and research-focused user assessments, could contribute to an increase in environmentally responsible behaviors among users.
  3. Environmental Volunteerism and Social Capital: A 2019 study by Pillemer et al. demonstrated that volunteer-based environmental programs not only contribute to environmental conservation but also foster social capital, improving community cohesion and resilience3. Streams of Hope's emphasis on volunteer projects could thus have benefits extending beyond environmental conservation.
  4. Environmental Justice and Community Participation: The importance of community participation in addressing environmental justice issues has been demonstrated in numerous studies, including a 2015 report by Chavis and Lee4. By encouraging residents to assess local environmental risk factors, Streams of Hope could contribute to increased awareness and action on environmental justice issues.
  5. Community-Based Environmental Education in Underserved Communities: A 2020 report by the North American Association for Environmental Education highlights the potential for community-based environmental education programs to enhance environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities and Title 1 schools5. Streams of Hope, with its user-friendly platform and integration into educational curriculums, could thus provide valuable resources and experiences for underserved communities and schools.


The environmental benefits achievable through Streams of Hope are substantiated by the evidence presented in the studies cited. By fostering community engagement, promoting environmental education, and providing tools for residents to take direct action, Streams of Hope is well-positioned to catalyze significant pro-environmental outcomes.



  1. Conrad, C. C., & Hilchey, K. G. (2011). A review of citizen science and community-based environmental monitoring: issues and opportunities. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 176(1-4), 273-291.
  2. The Ocean Project. (2014). America's Aquariums: Educating to Conserve. Retrieved from↩
  3. Pillemer, K., Wells, N. M., Meador, R. H., Schultz, L., Henderson Jr, C. R., & Cope, M. T. (2019). Engaging older adults in environmental volunteerism: the Retirees in Service to the Environment program. The Gerontologist, 59(3), 487-496.
  4. Chavis, B., & Lee, C. (2015). The Role of Community in Addressing Environmental Justice. Health Affairs Blog. Retrieved from↩
  5. North American Association for Environmental Education. (2020). Community-Based Environmental Education for a Sustainable Future. Retrieved from↩