What is the role for a community stewardship group in watershed governance?

Community-based water groups have long played an essential role in local water protection. These groups or societies might include stewardship groups, streamkeepers, “Friends of…”, basin networks, or other similar groups focused on the health and protection of local waters. Their activities often include hundreds to thousands of volunteer hours spent on habitat restoration, data collection, water sampling, salmon fry salvage operations, and public education, providing a very cost-effective way to deliver on-the-ground watershed protection that governing authorities often can’t. Local water groups also have valuable knowledge of their local watershed and often use it to inform governments about the unique needs and challenges being experienced.