Embrace A Stream is a matching grant program administered by Trout Unlimited (TU) that awards funds to TU chapters and councils for coldwater fisheries conservation.

October 18, 2023 —

NepRWA and Greater Boston Trout Unlimited (GBTU) secured funding from the Trout Unlimited Embrace A Stream (EAS) Program to study how road runoff affects aquatic wildlife and develop a school program to teach students about local fish. Since its inception in 1975, EAS has funded more than 1,150 individual projects with more than $4.9 million in direct cash grants.

Over the next two years, we will be working together to carefully examine three of our coldwater streams that are home to brook trout. Specifically, NepRWA and GBTU volunteers will collect temperature and dissolved oxygen data from continuous loggers to document how road runoff adds heat to our coldwater streams and lowers dissolved oxygen levels.

In addition, we’ll be looking at the “benthic macroinvertebrate community” – all the insects, worms, and snails that live in the stream, which are a necessary part of our stream’s wildlife, act as food for brook trout and other animals, and can tell us a lot about water quality generally. By seeing if there are differences before and after road crossings, we’ll see if the stormwater is hurting our stream organisms in a more long term way. 

Finally, we’ll be developing a pilot program to discuss fish and coldwater ecosystems in our middle school science classrooms. Our goal is to eventually share this program across the Neponset Watershed, allowing students to learn more about the fish in their backyards.

Meet Chris Ammann!

Chris joined NepRWA as a research intern in May 2024 and is working on the Embrace A Stream 2.0 project, targeting how stormwater runoff into coldwater stream systems impacts brook trout habitats through water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and benthic macroinvertebrate sampling.

He holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from Northeastern University and is currently completing his M.S. in Marine Biology at Northeastern University.

Chris can be reached at ammann.c@northeastern.edu

Sign up here to become an Embrace A Stream volunteer!

Stay tuned for updates! For any questions, please email NepRWA River Restoration Director, Sean McCanty.

Read about our prior Embrace A Stream project with GBTU.

Click for printable PDF of our Macroinvertebrate Identification Key,