Take Action

If you’re ready to take action to improve water quality and habitat in your community, the MWMO has resources to assist you. Whether you’re looking to adopt a storm drain, host a community cleanup day for your neighborhood, become a Minnesota Water Steward, or simply volunteer for environmental stewardship projects in your community, we can help. You might also think about helping the MWMO directly by joining our Citizen Advisory Committee.

Whether you live in an apartment, a house or a condo, everyone can take action to keep water clean in our communities. Adopting a storm drain, picking up your pet’s waste, and supporting groups and policies that help protect clean water are all meaningful ways to improve the environment. (Check out our list of everyday actions that promote clean water and habitat.)

If you’re not sure where to start, check out our Preventing Water Pollution section to learn about the actions and tools that residents can use to help reduce polluted runoff and improve habitat. You might be able to support clean water right in your very own yard or street.

A woman and child clearing debris out of a storm drain.
Adopting a storm drain is one of the simplest and most direct ways to help protect water quality in your community. Sign up today at adopt-a-drain.org.

Storm drains flow directly to local lakes, rivers, and wetlands, acting as a conduit for trash and organic pollutants. The Adopt-a-Drain program asks residents to adopt a storm drain in their neighborhood and keep it clear of leaves, trash, and other debris to reduce water pollution. Volunteer fifteen minutes, twice a month, for cleaner waterways and healthier communities.

How It Works

  1. Sign up online to Adopt a Drain in your neighborhood.
  2. Sweep leaves, trash and other debris off the drain surface year round.
  3. Keep an estimated total of the debris you collect and enter it into your online account so we can gauge the cumulative results of our work.
  4. Let friends and neighbors know about your commitment and, if they ask, tell them about small things they can do at home to prevent water pollution.
Sign Up to Adopt a Drain
A sign-up form and materials on a table at a community cleanup event.
The MWMO offers community cleanup kits, including all the necessary tools as well as marketing materials, sign-up forms and other resources.

One of the most direct ways residents can help protect water quality is by participating in a community cleanup event. The MWMO launched Good Neighbor Community Cleanups to help residents keep our watershed free of harmful pollutants that run off of roads, parking lots and other hard surfaces into storm drains, where they flow untreated into the Mississippi River.

During a community cleanup, residents pick up trash, leaves, yard waste, dirt and other potential pollutants from streets and other hard surfaces and dispose of them appropriately. The MWMO provides support for neighborhood organizations and other community groups to conduct their own Good Neighbor Community Cleanup events. This includes tools and other resources to use for the cleanup event, as well as promotional materials and other documents to help organize, lead, and track results of cleanup efforts.

Request a Cleanup Kit

Minnesota Water Stewards is a program that certifies and supports community leaders to prevent water pollution and educate community members to conserve and protect our waterways. It’s a great opportunity to learn how to solve environmental problems in your community and find a local network of energized leaders.

What Minnesota Water Stewards Do

  • Assess Watersheds — Identify pollution sources and create strategies for reducing pollutants.
  • Educate Communities — Help neighbors understand the most pressing environmental problems in their area.
  • Reduce Pollutants — Work with communities to target pollution sources such as pet waste, fertilizer or pesticides.
  • Coordinate Action — Help communities reduce polluted runoff by coordinating the installation of rain gardens, rain barrels and other rainscaping techniques.
Learn about Minnesota Water Stewards

Are you passionate about protecting our rivers, lakes and streams? Would you enjoy working beside others who share your interest? If so, the MWMO welcomes you to check out opportunities offered by some of our partners listed below.

The MWMO does not run a typical volunteer program; however, many of our partners do. Your enthusiasm, skills and commitment will make a big difference in protecting natural habitats, the creatures who live there and the water resources we all share.