You can adopt a portion of a local waterway through the District’s Adopt-a-Spot and Adopt-a-Creek programs.

Adopting part of the waterway can be an extremely rewarding experience, as you take an active role in preserving our natural environment. Of course, adoption also comes with responsibilities. Individuals or groups can meet the challenge at a specific location by

  • removing trash and other debris;
  • removing weeds;
  • planting native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers; and
  • caring for plants and wildlife habitat.

The District provides free trash bags and trash disposal, gloves, and orange safety vests.

Participating in Adopt-a-Spot or Adopt-a-Creek is easy. First, select and map a portion of the waterway of interest. Then, contact the Flood Control District at 510-670-5501 and an Adopt-a-Spot coordinator will review your selection. If the location is not already taken, and if the area is deemed safe for volunteer workers, the spot can be adopted.

Applications and permits are renewed annually. Volunteers must apply for the free permit, and then review and follow District safety and notification requirements. Volunteer efforts are rewarded with recognition signs near the selected site.

Adopt-a-Creek Groups You Can Visit

Alameda Creek Alliance

The Alameda Creek Alliance is a volunteer-based community watershed group working to restore native steelhead trout to Alameda Creek. Find news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more.

Friends of San Leandro Creek

A community group of dedicated citizens, students, and businesses interested in San Leandro Creek’s ecology, protection, and enhancement.

Friends of San Lorenzo Creek

A central source of information on the San Lorenzo Creek system and watershed, including action issues and events.

Friends of Sausal Creek

The Friends of Sausal Creek are volunteers working to maintain and improve the creek watershed. Find news, events, creek history, maps of hiking trails, and volunteer opportunities.

Piedmont Avenue Neighborhood Improvement League (PANIL)

PANIL is an association of residents in Oakland founded in 1974, with six steering committee members and nine standing committees. Glen Echo Creek surfaces from underground in two Oakland parks: Glen Echo Park and Oak Glen Park. PANIL is working with the District to plan and repair bank erosion, while volunteers work to retain the creek’s natural environment.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Tule Ponds Community Service

High school community service groups, Girl Scouts, Eagle Scouts, and other volunteers can undertake public service projects through habitat creation and improvement, trail upgrades, species monitoring, and native plant maintenance.

Cooperative Rain Data Collection Program

To supplement the District’s network of rainfall gauges, volunteers collect data throughout the county, mostly by measuring and recording rainfall depths to develop consistent records of accumulated rainfall.

Cleanup Day Events

Here is your opportunity to spend a beautiful day outdoors helping to keep our shores and creeks clean. Every year, volunteers collect tons of garbage from California’s waterways.

Friends of Sausal Creek – Earth Day 2009 at Dimond Park. Copyright © 2009, Kimra McAfee
Friends of Sausal Creek – Earth Day 2009 at Dimond Park. Copyright © 2009, Kimra McAfee