About the Program

Stream Smart Logo

Stream Smart is an educational campaign designed to increase awareness about the choices we make and how they might impact local streams and rivers including Bear Creek and the Rogue River. It also serves a resource for region to highlight what local communities and organizations are doing to protect and improve water quality and restore riparian areas.  There are also resources and contacts for the community to learn more about what is being done and provide guidance for how to implement Stream Smart choices at home or in the community.  The program also features opportunities to get involved in your community through volunteer opportunities, workshops, and events. Anyone can make Stream Smart choices at home to help. It can be as simple as picking up after your pet, or more complex by creating walk ways and driveways with porous materials (materials that allow water to drain through), or by planting native trees by streams and rivers to provide shade and cool the water. All of these actions work to help reduce water pollution and improve water quality conditions. By providing information and tools that individuals need to make Stream Smart choices, we help to empower everyone to do their part.

Current coordination is provided by the Natural Resources Department at the Rogue Valley Council of Governments.  There is an Advisory Team that provides input for program operation that meets several times during the year.

How did this campaign start?

Local communities including the City of Medford, Ashland, and Central Point along with the Bear Creek Watershed Council (now the Rogue River Watershed Council), the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District, Rogue Valley Sewer Services, and others collaborated in 2011 to develop a regional education and outreach strategy to help meet local Clean Water Act and educational goals.  The strategy was developed to increase awareness about every day behavior changes residents and businesses could adopt to protect and improve the quality of water flowing in local creeks and rivers.  Volunteering and highlighting what communities are implementing on a regional scale are also key program components in addition to programs and events conducted by the program partners including the Bear Creek Watershed Education Partners (BCWEP), OSU Extension, Bear Creek Watershed Council (now the Rogue River Watershed Council).

How is the program funded?

Primary funding for the program comes from local communities in Jackson and Josephine County through their Clean Water Act Programs.  Major contributors included Medford, Ashland, Central Point, Phoenix, Talent, Jacksonville, Grants Pass, and both counties.  Please refer to our funders page to learn more.

How has this program expanded since 2011?

The Stream Smart program has grown from a Bear Creek focus to a Rogue Basin-wide campaign. The program now includes communities, agencies, and organizations from across the watershed. The partners are working on consistent messaging across the Rogue River Basin, expanding programs to cover more communities, building on successes, and coordinating local efforts with larger efforts across the state, region, and nationally.  Annual campaigns and focus areas help highlight our activities and priorities.  Major programs that are conducted annually include Salmon Watch, and the Bear Creek and Rogue Clean-ups.


How will the program grow?

Stream Smart is a broad-based campaign that encourages people and businesses to adopt simple, yet important actions to improve our water quality and watershed health. We will continue to update and expand the Stream Smart campaign as our resources allow. If you have an idea for a pledge, or information to add to the website that will help residents and businesses improve water quality, please Contact Us. We want to know what additional Stream Smart actions you think are important.

We are also constantly working with new partners and volunteers on our many programs.  Each year, we strive to expand the number of programs we offer and the number of people reached.  We also work to add new partners.

Pledges and Contact Information


You get to feel the satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference by helping to improve water quality in your local creek! After you take a Stream Smart pledge, you will receive feedback about how much pollution you prevented from entering our local streams. You become part of Stream Smart pledge community, and your general location will be shown on an interactive map, alongside the location of other community members who also pledged to be Stream Smart.


For more information about Stream Smart, please email us at: info@stream-smart.com.  The Rogue Valley Council of Governments is currently serving as the program coordinator and website administrator.  Please contact Greg Stabach at (541) 423-1370 for general questions including information about the advisory committee.