Become a Certified Master Water Steward

Freshwater Society
Volunteer Opportunities - Ongoing
Twin Cities Metro Area

Are you concerned about water pollution? Is there a drainage problem in your neighborhood that you want to fix? Want to get off the sidelines and make real change? You don’t have to be an expert, we’ll show you the way!

The Master Water Stewards program is a great opportunity to learn how to solve environmental problems in your community and find a local network of energized leaders.

Polluted runoff is the greatest threat to the health of Minnesota’s waters. Everything found on city streets flows to our water- bacteria, salt, litter, sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Increasingly large volumes of polluted runoff reach our lakes and rivers faster, causing flooding downstream. Pollutants are not being filtered or broken down by passing through the soil, making water dirtier. The widespread nature of the problem requires local leadership, and localized solutions.

The Master Water Stewards program will identify, train, certify and support community leaders to work with members of their communities to install pollution prevention projects on residential and commercial properties that educate community members, reduce pollutants from urban runoff, and allow more water to soak into the ground before running into storm sewer systems.

Modeled after successful Master Gardener programs, volunteer community leaders will participate in a minimum of 50 hours of hands-on courses and projects. Certified Master Water Stewards will volunteer 50 hours of community service in the initial year of certification, up to 25 hours each subsequent year and ongoing continuing education in order to maintain their certification. An interactive web site will consolidate resources to support Stewards, connect Stewards to technical expertise, continuing education opportunities, and other community members.

As an example, each raingarden project can capture up to 85-99% of runoff volume. A 1000-square foot raingarden on a one-acre parking lot could capture as much as 573 pounds of sediment, .6 pounds of Phosphorus and 2 pounds of Nitrogen.

The Master Water Stewards program creates a new program model of community engagement and leadership, and develops a new community-based education, outreach and action resource team that natural resource agencies, watershed districts and municipalities can deploy to meet water quality, education and outreach goals.

Applications available at

For more information, contact:
Deirdre Coleman
Program Coordinator
Freshwater Society