Save Our Streams Certification

Register for Training

Welcome to the online Save Our Streams certification program! The first step is to register for your virtual classroom trainings. Be sure to register for both workshops!

Introduction to Water Quality

  • In this session, you'll learn about the Save Our Streams program and how your data will be used at the local, state, and federal level. We'll discuss the various water quality threats our streams are facing across the country and how monitoring can help us protect and advocate for America's waterways.
  • October 7, 7-8 p.m.
  • October 9, 1-2 p.m.

Introduction to Macroinvertebrates

  • In this session, you'll meet the stream critters we collect and identify in the Save Our Streams program. You'll learn the life history of each bug, what they can tell us about water quality, and how to identify them!
  • October 6, 1-2 p.m.
  • October 8, 7-8 p.m.

Online workshops are listed in Eastern time.

Start Your Training

Becoming a Save Our Streams volunteer starts here! See below for the steps required to become a certified Save Our Streams monitor.

  1. Watch the three webinars below – Introduction to Water Quality, Introduction to Macroinvertebrates and your region's Field Training Introduction.

  2. Fill out the Save Our Streams Certification Registration Form to get access to the macroinvertebrate exam.

  3. Complete the Macroinvertebrate ID exam with a passing score and receive your Macroinvertebrate ID Certificate.

  4. Attend an in-person field training*, where you will learn the Save Our Streams data collection protocol.

  5. Pass an SOS protocol exam for your region and receive your certification!

The first two steps in the Save Our Streams certification process can be completed on this page. Scroll down to view the three introductory webinars. Fill out the Save Our Streams Certification Registration Form once you have viewed them.


*At this time we will only be able to offer field days in regions with active staff and volunteer trainer presence. As such, we expect field days to be offered in the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest.


FAQs for Online Certification

How long will it take to complete the macroinvertebrate ID certification?

The macroinvertebrate ID exam itself typically takes about 30 minutes to complete. However, we recommend starting the process at least two weeks before any scheduled field session. This allows you enough time to retake the exam as many times as you need, and it gives our staff enough time to process your certificate.


What if I don’t pass the exam?

Not a problem! You can take the macroinvertebrate exam as many times as you need to get a passing score. SOS staff will share helpful macro ID resources, and we're available to answer specific questions as well.


What if I don’t live in a state where field training will be offered?

Our current staff capacity allows us to cover the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest. If you live outside of those regions, chemical monitoring and macroinvertebrate monitoring with the Creek Critters app are great ways to collect data about water quality – and you can get started without any training.


I’m interested in water quality but don’t want to get certified. Can I still take these classes?

Of course! These classes are free and open to the public.


Introduction to Water Quality

Learn about water quality in the United States, threats to water quality, and why monitoring matters!



Introduction to Macroinvertebrates

Meet and learn to identify the critters we use to assess water quality!




Prepare for Your Field Training

Before attending your in-person field trainings, please take a few minutes to orient yourself with an introductory video.

The Save Our Streams certification program is somewhat different depending on what region you plan to monitor. Where will you be? If you live in the Mid-Atlantic area, use the map to check whether you're in the Chesapeake Bay region. (Remember to check based on your planned monitoring sites, which may be across the border from where you live.)

Once you have completed viewing these three videos, please fill out the Save Our Streams Certification Registration Form to access the next steps of the certification process.

Save Our Streams is a registered trademark of the Izaak Walton League of America.